Monday, 24 September 2012

Getting Your Ganesh On

We take a little break from re-counting our travels in Japan for India's annual celebration of Hindu God Ganesh. Known as Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi, the holiday is a 10-day festival (which started last Wednesday) devoted to the Elephant-headed God, remover of obstacles, revered among Hindus.

As we explained in last year's post about the holiday, clay models of Ganesh in a variety of sizes and poses are made for the celebration. After you've celebrated your Ganesh, you're meant to parade your clay likeness of him through the streets and then to a body of water to cast him off for his trip home. Here we explore the rituals from picking out your Ganesh to casting him off.

Soaking up some divine light at a market.

You can grab your Ganesh near many of the temples around town. The markets are similar to the places that pop up back home selling Christmas trees during the holidays. A family tradition, dad bringing his daughter, so she can select a special Ganesh.

Two women, their selections made, now start making the Ganeshes their own.

From basic clay versions that get thrown in the water to riots of color, Ganesh comes in any style and size. Once you've nabbed yours, maybe you go shopping for a little dress up stuff like say, a garland?

Now it's time to take the kids and head to the water. Plop Ganesh down, light a little pooja, say a prayer and then have one of your boys do the honor of sending Ganesh into the sea.

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