Sunday, August 27, 2006

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi

Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi to you all

Its that time of the year again which makes me wake up early in the morning and keep me totally enthused for the decoration and the food preperations and the pooja itself.
Love going to the market early in the morning, picking up the flowers, fruits, the banana leaves in stem and all the leaves and stuff. The market sports such a festive look and all that hustle bustle! Probably the only time that you wouldn't mind paying a bit extra to the vendors though you know they have raised the prices for that one day. Afterall, it's a festival for them too, it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more and let them enjoy it :). I carefully pick a good looking small idol. All through my childhood we've been using a non-colored clay idol and I would always crib. Now that I am on my own, I go pick the colorful ones :) . Yes I am going to switch back to non-colored ones next year ... for our environment sake.

Back to home, decorate the front door with flower garland and mango leaves. Doesn't it make the house look so nice from outside! Everyone knows its a special day :)

I have learnt two traditional dishes from my Mom for making for this festival - Kudumulu and Paravannam. I feel so proud whenever I make them and they come out just perfect.

Then comes the time for the actual decoration for the pooja. I love this part! You can get so creative :). This year I was able to set up a glow behind the idol, like a halo we see behind God pictures. While I was with my parents, the decoration used to be quite elaborate. It used to be the best part of the day (next to eating the kudumulu ofcourse), coz Dad would make us feel responsible by letting us help him in doing up the pooja place. We hang a wooden mesh kind of thing above the idol and then tie fruits around it. We also decorate the hanging thread with mango leaves and then fill the top of the mesh with lots of leaves. It all looks so pretty. Unfortunately I haven't found that mesh thingie in Bangalore. So I do it the way you see in the picture.
At my parents place, my Dad would read all the mantras and narrate the story and significance of the festival, its the way the pooja is done. But here I had not done that the last 2 times. But this time I discovered the entire mantra and story sequence on ! So, I just played it while I did the pooja :)! Could I be more techy!!!!

So finally its prasadam time and then exchanging the prasadam with neighbours and friends. The evening is spent going around and seeing different types decorations in various Ganesha temples, meeting freinds etc.

Totally satisfying and feel good day, my favrourite festival day- Lord Ganesha's Birthday!