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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ganesh Chaturthi


Today (September 11 of all days) starts the eleven day festival to Lord Ganesha, for it is at this time Hindus celebrate his birth. Ganesha may be the most recognizable of all Hindu deities.

The story of Ganesha is somewhat complex and I feel if I give you all the information you will not feel the need to look it up yourselves. But none the less, Ganesh is the god of good luck, fortune and wisdom. His mount of all things is humble, for it is a mouse. Ganesh is the most common and widely spread deity worshipped, even at my temple he is the main shrine.

The festival of his birth is not set on a singular day every year, rather it goes by the phases of the moon. It starts on the fourth day of the waxing moon between late August to early September.
Statues are placed in special homes and venues at the beginning of Ganesh Chaturthi. A priest comes around and gives the 16 offerings (tributes) to bring life into the statue. Through the ceremonies many mantras are chanted.
For 10 days the statue is worshipped, and on the 11th it makes its way to go back to his home. A huge procession usually follows the statues as they make their way to bodies of water. The statues of Ganesha are then immersed in the water, a goodbye to Ganesha as he takes his worshippers ill-fortunes with him.

Ganesh Chaturthi is something I am determined to experience when I finally make a trip to India, seeing as he is on a chain around my neck. He is definitely good luck.

~Aum Shri Ganeshaya Nama~
              Dekhthe Hai

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