Saturday, 3 September 2016

Ganesha Chathurthi/Vinayagar Chathurthi

Vinayagar /Pillaiyar Chathurthi is a very interesting festival for all of us. The reason being, we all love Vinayagar as first god to worship during all functions we conduct at home and at temples. Elders used to offer their prayers to Pillaiyar whenever they start a new/important work.

This festival is celebrated by all Hindus across India. Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Ganesha. The long trunk of Lord Ganesha is favorite for kids. I have heard lot of people who collect Ganesha Idols as their hobby and they love doing it.

I am happy to explain the traditional way of Celebrating Vinayagar Chathurthi at our home.

Elders in my family insist upon buying the Vinayagar Idol made of clay on the day of this festival in the morning. This Idol is usually not painted and in bright colours those days. Now we could see the idols in Nice bright colours in shops few days before the Festival. We also buy erukkam poo (Crown Flower) maalai, Arukampul (Bermuda grass) maalai and a flower garland to offer to Lord Ganesha.

While bringing in the Ganesha Idol, Aarthi is taken to invite Lord to our house.

Ladies at home place a wooden stool in the Pooja room while the gents go to buy the properties required for the Pooja. Maakolam is drawn on the stool (manai palagai). Vinayagar Idol is place on the stool facing east/west/north and not facing south. Decorate the idol by applying Sandal, kumkum on the forehead. Wear a Poonal (sacred thread) to Lord Ganesha. Place a 1 rupee coin on the thoppul of the Idol. Then wear the garlands bought.

Be prepared with the properties required for the Pooja. Manjal (turmeric powder), Akshadhai, Loose Flowers for Archanai, Betal leaves & nuts, Coconut, Goa fruit, Bananas, Vilampazham (Wood Apple-known as Ganesha's favorite fruit).

All members in the family take head bath on this day early in the morning. We prepare Sundal, Coconut Mothak, Ulundhu Vadai, Rice & Dhal, Payasam, Ellu Kozhukattai, Ammini Kozhukattai. Most important is the Sweet Mothak and Sundal.

Pillaiyar is also made out of Turmeric powder which is most auspicious. Most families encourage guys to perform the Pooja since Lord Ganesha is a bachelor. Once the pooja is over the fruits and other food prepared are offered to god by performing neivedhyam. We pray god for the wellness of the family and request his blessings in all the happenings throughout the year and offer Deepaarathanai using Camphor.

People ensure to visit Temple to worship god on this special occasion.

We also perform Punar Poojai on the next day and then move the idol slightly towards North. The Idol used for the Pooja is usually put into the well on the third day. Nowadays the Idols are placed in common places in their respective area and they are collected and carried to the river/sea to dissolve them.

You can make use of my sister's website for the Ganesh Chathurthi recipes.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Vinayagar Chathurthi....





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