Monday, August 24, 2009

Ganesha Festival At Home

                                                            

Vakratunda Mahakaaya, Suryakoti Samaprabha, Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada







Ganesha Chathurthi is a very important festival and I nearly follow our family tradition, which I learned from my  sister-in-law.  We pray Lord Ganesha before we start any work or before any important family function is to be celebrated at home, so that it is done without any 'vighna' (disturbance) .  





On the day of the Vinayaka Chaturthi festival (birthday of Ganesha - yesterday -normally it comes on a Chathurdashi day from mid August to mid September),  we bring home Ganesha  made of  clay along with the yerukkampoo maalai and an umbrella.  Then we keep it on a peetha (small stool).  We stick a 25p coin on the stomach, tie a sacred thread across the chest and a dhothi on the waist. Chandan and kumkum thilak on the forehead.  We draw special festival rangoli with red coloured  paste as border outside our gate and tie mango leaves on the door frame.  Here, you can see in the photo above, a rangoli in front of the deity with red colour line in the middle.   

Unlike Bangalore and other places where painted Ganesha is kept for the pooja, in Tamil nadu, we use  Ganesha made of clay.   When I was in Bangalore,  sometimes I was not able to get clay Ganesha.  So  painted Ganesha was kept for the pooja.   My children were small then and I used to buy 2 pairs of small Gauri-Ganesha dolls(in Bangalore, Ganesha together with his wife Gauri is kept for pooja)  and some flowers for my sons to do pooja, separately.  They used to sit together and do mock pooja! 





For naivedhya (prasad), we prepare sweet modak (coconut and jaggery), udad dhal modak, vadai, sundal(boiled and garnished chana dhal), raw-rice idly and paayasam (kheer).

After finishing the pooja at home, we went to the Ganesha temple in our street.  We had to finish the pooja by 10 a.m. and go there for the main pooja of the temple deity.





The temple car with an Uthsava moorthy of Lord Ganesha (the above photo) is taken for rounds on the nearby streets.  The car stops in front of the houses and we do aarthi .  This photo was taken when the car stopped in front of our house.    We tried to take the photo of the car, but it was difficult with so many people around.    So, we took one, with the trustee and purohit in front of the car.  The car is a small one but the woodwork is beautiful.  





I just pray that these traditions of our festivals continue at least for some more generations. But I know that it is not easy to follow,  with everyone in the family going out for jobs. The idol will be taken to the sea and dropped in the water on Wednesday (for visarjana).

I did not plan to do this post and so the photographs were taken in a hurry.  I just thought that our blogger friends from other states can become familiar with Tamil Nadu Ganesha Chathurthi celebration - home made!



31 comments :

wordsndreamz said...

That was such beautiful account! You have explained it so well. And your pooja room with all decorations looks so serene and beautiful.

It is indeed very interesting to know how the same festival is celebrated in so many different ways across India!

Sandhya said...

wordsndreamz: Thank you, Smitha! If I had planned properly, I could have taken the photos, after arranging everything properly.

R. Ramesh said...

wonderfully presented yar..thanks for giving me a homely feeling..all the best

SG said...

Nice blog. Appreciate it. Just one question. I thought taking the idol to the sea and dropping in the water is a north Indian custom and they don't do that in Tamilnadu. May be that custom has started in Tamilnadu also.

Oh by the way, you are tagged. Looking forward to your answers. Please read my latest blog for details. Thanks.

Varunavi said...

Nice post sandhya,even i like the clay ones,when we were kids my mom used to buy the clays ones.

By seeing ur ganesh i became nostalgic,my mom used to decorate ganesh the same way.

kanagu said...

Its really a nice account on how the ganesh chathurthi celebrated here.. :)

my mom used to say, we should not throw god into sea or wells.. after worship.. so we are not buying clay vinayaka...

but during childhood days, we buy it due to our force.. :)

the pics are nice... especially your pooja room :)

kavita said...

SANDHYA...WOW!the whole puja set up looks so beautiful and i can well imagine the kind of effort you have put in here...i want to have some(read a lot)of your prasadam ,it looks very tasty...is it DURVA i am noticing here? I WANT TO HAVE ONE MORE LOOK AT THE PICTURES....MAY LORD GANESHA BE ALWAYS WITH YOU..

kavita said...

You are very lucky that you have this system of Aarti car...wow...i wish we too had this kind of arrangements here...bcoz of constant bomb threats we avoid going to crowded mandirs here..sad for us...

Deeps said...

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you and your family,Sandhya!the snaps are beautiful and your pooja room looks pious.
Thank you so much for that information.When I chatted with my Pa-in-law,who lives in angalore y'day,he too said how the house was preparing for ganesh puja.

hitch writer said...

Lovely pics !! happy ganesh chaturthi... where are my modaks

Sandhya said...

Ramesh: Thank you.

SG: Dropping the idol in the sea is not Tamil nadu custom, you are right. But most of the flats don't have a well now, so they use the sea! We have got a well here, at home, but I don't drop our Ganesha in the well. The clay might block the waterline. I used to fill water in a big bucket and put the idol in it, when I was in Bangalore and Hosur. Even now if my husband doesn't take the idol to the sea, I follow the same method and after 2-3 days, pour the mud water in a corner of our compound wall! We have to change with times!

Keeping huge Ganesha idols in a pandal on the roadside also is not our custom. But people here, are doing it and every year, the police have to keep a vigil, so that no communal fights start, esp. in the muslim prominent areas. Unwanted tensions.

I will read your blog and will try to do the tag as early as possible, thank you, SG.

Varunavi: I like to celebrate festivals. Though we have to do a lot of work/preparations, I feel happy in the end. Don't know for how many years, I will be able to celebrate festivals in an elaborate way. Let us see.

Kanagu; Your mummy's thought is not wrong. In my mother's place we don't use clay idols. We have bronze vigrahas and the way the pooja is done also is different. In our country, not only every State, but every village conducts poojas in their own way! Every family has different traditions...that is India! I am open to everything! So I am happy!

Kavitha: In Tamil, modak is 'kozhukkattai'. Round ones are sweet, with jaggery and coconut in rice dough. The ones which looks like samosas are prepared with udad dhall, mirchi, ginger etc. in rice dough coating. Everything is steam-cooked. I prepare just 12 each and do naivedya first (for the pooja). Go to the temple pooja, come back, gulp down some modaks (!) and finish preparing the rest of the modaks. We do modaks with til also. But now everyone is skipping doing different verieties. Earlier, we had more people to help and more people to eat. Now, small families and here, I have to do everything. Slowing down now.

Our house is in the outskirts. When we came here, we had limited no. of houses here. The house is in the main busy road. The temple chariot/car passes through some of the important roads. They follow the old tradition of stopping the car in front of some of the houses, who give importance to the temple and let us do aarthi. I love the flower decoration of the car. The purohit does it with so much love. He looks so tired in the photo. The trustee too. These people are great, I feel.

Deeps: Thank you, Deepu. Bangalore celebrates Ganesha in a huge way, than Chennai! Kannadigas do 'Gauri Ganesh pooja' which is a very very important pooja. A change from the routine life, na?

hitchwriter: NOW! My son is a lot like you, Dhiren or vice versa! He calls this festival as 'kozhukkattai pandige', means 'modak festival'! He loves modaks and a non-believer nowadays! He is worsening day by day! He has got such a good sense of humour that if our family elders start advising him, he replies in such a way that they stop advising with a huge smile on their faces!

Shall I courier some modaks, next year...GOD WILLS?!!

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi to you too!!!

destinationinfinity said...

I miss the prasadam part!! I was pleasantly surprised to find coloured Ganesha's in Bangalore. I didn't notice it last year! I think in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra, they virtually block all roads while taking the idols to the sea. And all the while they sing songs etc. The sense of community bonding that I found in Mumbai is pretty impressive!!

Destination Infinity

manju said...

Lovely post and lovely pictures, Sandhya! It is interesting to learn how festivals are celebrated in different parts of India.

evanescentthoughts said...

Nice..looks like you had fun celebrating the festival... Ganesha festival is one of my favourite festivals :) After a couple of years, this time I got a chance to celebrate it..

Sandhya said...

Destination Infinity: Ganesha festival is very famous in Maharashtra. Everyone is involved in celebrating this festival. They really love Ganesha. Here, in Chennai, some people are following their concept of keeping Ganesha idols on roadsides. When I came across some of the idols on the road yesterday, I did not feel happy. The places are deserted. Like in Mumbai, the idols are taken to the sea for visarjan. The newspapers show photos of people breaking the idols on the beaches with pick axe etc., the next day.

Maharashtrian bhajans are famous, too. We had Maharashtrian friends when we were in Hosur. Their aarthi bhajans are very melodious.

Manju: Every state conducts the same festival in so many different ways, here, in our country. But for how long, these customs are going to last, god only knows! Everyone is busy with so many different things, nowadays.

Evanescentthoughts: Ganesha is a fun god. He is treated as a child god and pampered! In gift shops too, you can see so many varieties of Ganesha idols.

Swaram said...

Nice one! We follow the same too - the 25 paisa coin et..al :)

Nice pics all of them including that of the ratha :)

R. Ramesh said...

thanksssss

Sandhya said...

Swaram: Welcome here, Swaram. Yes, we see the temple rathas very rarely nowadays. We are lucky, in that way.

Renu said...

Beautiful description Sandhya ! Thank youbso much ! I also wish that these traditions remain so till the next generation.

In north Gauri is the name of Parwati and she is not the consort of Ganpati but his mother.

R. Ramesh said...

arre baapre..y do want to beat up innocent husbands? is there no one to protect battered husbands? hey bhagwan..kya ho gaya yeh duniya k? naan enna seiven deivame..haha

evanescentthoughts said...

I have an award for you at my site. Kindly accept it :)

mesoliloquy said...

I read it the other day, couldn't comment because of some error.

Loved reading it and beautiful pictures, Sandhya!

Festival times are the ones when I really want to be home with my parents.

Sandhya said...

Solilo: My relatives who are abroad too say the same thing. Our festivals are unique.

Sandhya said...

Renu: Thank you. It is not easy to do so much preparations nowadays. And if youngsters are not interested and not involved, this becomes strenuous. As I said earlier, their lives are hectic, always 'running' life. Let us enjoy as much as we can.

Not only every State differs in celebrating festivals, every village differs! Bangaloreans have Gauri Ganesha, we Mangaloreans, just Ganesha and no clay or painted idols, just vigraha pooja!

Sandhya said...

Evanescentthoughts: Thank you, Ashwini. Coming there, running, to collect the award!

sharu said...

Hey mami, that was a very good explanation of ganesha chathurthi.your pooja room looks nice!!!

vastu said...

Mami, pooja room looks so good. I can figure out the 2 white neivedyams. what is that yellow one? Is it the fried kozhukkattai? Even we had good Vinayaka Chathurthi celebration. we could'nt celebrate Krishna Jayanthi function due to seethakam and you won't believe it. We all missed all the bhakshanams we usually get that day after pooja. After 8 pm we went to Sri krishna sweets, bought some thattai cheedai and all.

Sandhya said...

Sharu: Thank you.

vastu: Vella kozhukkattai, uluththam kozhukkattai, sundal and vadai are visible there. Mama doesn't like koththukkadalai, so did white channa sundal. Thank god, Ganesha doesn't eat, otherwise he might have compelled me to do koththukkadalai sundal!

Shail said...

That was a nice account Sandhya of the way you celebrate the Ganesha festival.

Sandhya said...

shail: Thank you, Shail.

Nidhi Sharma said...

Amazing and wonderful idea thanks for sharing..!

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