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Watch this video to change the way you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh Chaturthi- the festival of the masses! The entire state of Maharashtra in India has geared up for the 11 day carnival of Ganesh Chaturthi 2018- huge Ganesh idols, grand pandals, and enthusiastic devotees. You can feel the festive ambiance everywhere. Ganpati festivities have hugely evolved over the years, with each year being grander. People now want an impressive celebration to make it to the headlines. The real message of the festival and its essence are lost somewhere in the bass of loudspeakers and loud drum beats. And shockingly, some people find this a convenient way to celebrate. Hence, I bring you 5 unique ways to celebrate Ganesh festival-
- Celebrate Ganpati together– Agroli village in Navi Mumbai is doing a commendable job with its unique way of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. They celebrate the festival with the motto of ‘One village, one Ganpati’. In their own way, the residents of Agroli are contributing to the betterment of the environment by reducing the number of idols used from about 100 to just 1; thereby, sending out a strong message of peace and unity. Now isn’t this exactly what Balgangadhar Tilak had in mind when he popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival? Every family contributes around Rs. 500-700 to fund for the celebrations which include cultural programs where kids showcase their talents along with other devotional shows.
When it comes down to people living in the urban areas, I want to ask you- Can we not celebrate the festival with the same enthusiasm by having lesser number of pandals? Is it necessary to block the roads and cause sound pollution at every corner of the city? Imagine if we all could come together under one roof to celebrate, just like the Agroli residents. Imagine the amount of money we all would save and put it for some other good use. Think about the non-stop smiles and laughs and the wonderful time you will get to spend with each other. After all, happiness when shared becomes double. But again, it’s a matter of religion and faith, and I’m sure not everyone will agree to this. Generally, people like to celebrate their own ways now. But I believe, celebrating together brings out the significance of the festival and leaves us with good memories.
- Limit the sweets and decorations offerings. Donate for a noble cause instead– Ganesh Chaturthi is a time for family gatherings, visiting friends, relatives and neighbors. As a token of nice gesture, many offer sweets, chocolates or some kind of While this is all just to show their affection for Ganpati, I believe the same money and efforts can be utilized in a better way that will actually make a difference.
Throughout the 11 day festival, one day can be arranged to give meals to the poor. You can ask your relatives to offer money to Ganpati instead of sweets. The collected amount can be then given to an NGO for supporting education expenses for few poor kids.
These kinds of initiatives will take time but will be beneficial to the society in the long run. Many pandals across the city have also come up with donation boxes instead of the regular sweet offerings. Maybe Ganpati has become health conscious and wants you to stay fit as well. 😉 After all, he just wants you to be in your best of health and spirits always.
If we can learn anything from Lord Ganesha, it is: Be sincere and care about no one in the line of duty.
- Opt for small and sweet idols– Rather than competing with each other to keep the tallest idol, mandals should try to keep the idol height not more than 5 feet tall. Big idols consume more POP (Plaster of Paris) which means more harm to the environment. On the other hand, small idols will save a lot of space for the pandals to be built. Also they will reduce the traffic congestion and save time to dissolve in water during visarjan.
- Visit pandals in different localities– Visit pandals that promote some cause and try to help them in their initiative either by donating or simply participating and spreading the awareness. These are the efforts of the city’s silent heroes. There are also some pandals which organize shows/plays that depict spiritual values or teach you something about our varied culture.
While we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with full enthusiasm, there’s an equally important part of the society which cannot experience this same joy- the visually challenged. And hence, Growel’s 101, a mall located in Kandivali, had collaborated with 121 Experiences (in 2017) and crafted an idol which could be touched by the visually impaired. They have also conducted awareness programs to encourage people to donate their eyes posthumously.
Don’t tell Ganesha how big your problems are; tell your problems how big your Ganesha is.
- Go green– Majority of people nowadays prefer for eco-friendly idols made from natural, biodegradable material. Here are some Ganesh Chaturthi decoration ideas to make your celebrations even bigger.
Make a bunch of origami designs and stick them on a plain wall. Go for different colored natural flower torans with some compact fluorescent lights (CFL) attached to get that perfect backdrop for your Ganesh idol. Share and promote your knowledge about more such eco-friendly ways of celebration through awareness drives or workshops.
SPROUTS Environment Trust, an NGO in Mumbai along with an advertising company Ogilvy & Mather started to make Ganesh idols edible for fish. They used vegetarian fish food, corn, vegetable powder colored with materials such as haldi, kumkum, chandan and other water-soluble materials. Now isn’t that a brilliant initiative with a catchy hashtag- #GodSaveTheOcean.
Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.
Related:- Let your soul speak. Click here to continue reading.
Hope this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations bring lots of hopes and new beginnings in your life. Let’s all celebrate that Ganpati spirit as one!
How do you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Do you have some ideas which can change the way we enjoy? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments. Come back soon to read my next article or subscribe to get it delivered directly in your inbox. Bookmark this page to save time in searching again. Have a nice day ahead.