Once again Mumbai is getting ready to celebrate [url=http://www.indiapalette.com/forums/topic/ganpati-ganesh-chaturthi-hindu-festival-of-wisdom-prosperity-good-fortune]Ganesh Chaturthi[/url] (or Ganpati) – one of the most spectacular Indian festivals, and once again the streets of the city is going to be decorated with garlands and blinking colorful lights. Just in a few weeks the clumsy bamboo constructions will turn into beautiful temples, and the intricate idols of [url=http://www.indiapalette.com/forums/topic/ganesha]Lord Ganesha[/url] will be installed in homes and podiums. Millions of people will dedicate 10 days of the festival to worshiping their favorite god, known for his ability to bring good fortune.
Usually it’s celebrated in the end of the rainy season – end of August or beginning of September. The exact date depends on the moon cycle and after new moon it falls on the 4th day. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi 2014 starts on 29th of August and ends on the 8th of September. Over the years I noticed that the beauty of the [url=http://www.indiapalette.com/forums/topic/ganpati-temples]temporary temples hosting Lord Ganesha idol[/url] depend on the intensity of rains: if monsoon is more or less over during the celebration, the temples are simply breathtaking, but if the rains are still in their full power, the constructions are much more humble. Naturally, why take extra trouble if all the decorations are going to be washed out anyway? Will see what it’s going to be like this year.
The other day I visited one of the workshops producing the sculptures of Lord Ganesha, and once again it made me think about [url=http://www.indiapalette.com/forums/topic/how-art-made-the-world]the nature of the Indian art[/url]. I was watching the mechanical movements of the artisans who were busy filling the moulds, spraying the idols, painting different parts of them, putting them aside. Rows and rows of identical Ganesha statues were looking at me from their shelves. It was strange to see creators giving so little thought to their creations – you could easily imagine them being replaced by factory machines. On the other hand, even if they wanted to contemplate the idols (or be able to do so), they wouldn’t have a chance. People will need a lot of these sculptures. Only in Mumbai alone more than 150 thousands of them are immersed in the sea at the end of this festival.
I could also see the first customers buying the idols. They will be installed and beautifully decorated in their homes. Some families even invite professional florists to make all the arrangements needed. The following worship ritual include reciting mantras, praying, offering Ganesha sweets, fruits, flowers, coconuts, money notes and coins.
The streets during Ganesh Chaturthi festival is usually crowded, especially during the last day, when the idols are put into trucks, followed by singing and dancing processions. I love to observe these from the window of my room 🙂
(A few more photos from the workshop)