Tomorrow Ganesh Followers around the world will be celebrating their beloved Lord Ganesha’s birthday once again. A quick peek at what’s happening where:
Mumbai, India, the nerve centre of Ganesh Utsav, is a trifle subdued this year, thanks to the overabundance of the monsoons that’s resulted in waterlogged roads. However, all agencies involved in the mammoth event – government bodies, police, Ganesha mandal leaders, idol-makers and the general public – are determined to make the festival largely eco-friendly. Discussions have been on to substitute Plaster of Paris idols and chemical dyes that pollute Mumbai beaches every year after the festival.
Mumbai may be pipped to the post by Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) where a youth association plans to install a 94 ft Ganesha, the tallest ever built. The 500-tonne Ganesha will be gifted with a gigantic ‘laddoo’ weighing 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). The idol will be made of clay from Kolkata, water-based colors and dried grass.
India’s IT hotspot, Bangalore will host its forty-ninth Ganesh Utsava. Cultural events featuring well-known Indian artistes in classical and popular music and dance will be the highlight of the 11-day fest.
In Pune, a non-governmental organization, eCoexist, has been selling eco-friendly papier mâché idols, using waste paper, for the first time in the festival’s history. The idols are colored with natural products like turmeric and Fuller’s Earth. Papier mâché is a good alternative to the more fragile clay idols.
In Mauritius, Ganesh Utsav is a public holiday. Hindu islanders celebrate at home and immerse Ganesha idols in the sea or along riverbanks.
New York’s Maharashtra Mandal is staging a popular Marathi comedy as the highlight of its celebrations. Besides the traditional Ganapati Pooja, there will art and craft sessions for children.
The Maharashtra Mandal Bay Area (Sunnyvale, CA) will organize a children’s variety program, a drawing competition and ‘Maticha Ganapati’ competition, where children will make clay idols of Ganesha.
If you know of any Ganesh Celebrations in your area, be sure to share it with us.