Lord Ganapathi festival celebrations begin

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ganapathi deity
Ganapathi deity

This September 15, 2007, being the birthday of Lord Ganesha, marks the important festival of Ganesh Chaturthi for Hindus in India and world wide.

Lord Ganesha occupies a special god status in Hindu tradition, and is considered as the bestower of all auspiciousness and destroyer of all negativity. Typically these festive celebrations last from one to 11 days, concluding with a Nimajjan ceremony (immersing the deity in the waters of lake/pond/river/sea/ocean etc). These celebrations are splendidly carried out in India amidst strict security as thousands participate. However; several Indian Hindu communities spread across the globe from Australia to North America have celebrated with no less pomp.

Notable ones were the celebration in the Scandinavian towns of Roskilde and Skovde, where due to the unavailability of Ganesh Maharaj statue (which are readily available in India), the organizers made a deity with black sticky clay soil collected from local farmlands with no added artificial colours.

These celebrations in Scandinavia besides having the usual religious significance has an added flavor demonstrating the environmental awareness in nordic countries. Recently eco-friendly Ganesh immersions are being urged by various environmental activists in India as well.