Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Vinayaga Chathurthi!

This festival is celebrated in the month of avani on chaturthi (4th) day which comes after the new moon. It is celebrated all over India. People celebrate this day in a variety of ways. For anything to go well, we pray Lord Vinayaka. He is the first to be worshipped whenever we start anything. He relieves us from all our difficulties. He solves our problems.

Lord Vinayaka has got an elephant face and human body. He is worshipped by many names like Vinayaka, Ganesha, Pillayar, Vigneshwara, Gajanana, Ganapathy, Mooshika Vahanaa, Modhaga priya etc. He rides on an animal called mooshika(a large kind of rat).

In houses we celebrate this pooja in a grand manner. We decorate the floor with kolams using rice flour. On that day we buy a new Vinayaka idol(made of clay). We also buy a decorated umbrella to place behind the idol. On a wooden plank, plantain leaf is placed and raw rice is spread over it. We place the idol on this and decorate with flowers and perform pooja.

Vinayaka likes a dish called mothagam(kozhukkattai). So different varieties of kozhukkattai are prepared and offered to the lord on this day. It is the special item on this day. On the next day, punar pooja is done. This is the pooja which acts as an ending to the festival. After this we remove the idol from its place. On the next day after punar pooja, we immerse the idol in water in the sea, well or pond.

In cities like Mumbai, Chennai etc. large Ganesha idols (a bout 6 ft) are placed in common places and pooja is performed in a very grand manner. People all around worship the lord. Prasadams (Dish offered to the lord) are distributed to the people. After the pooja is over, the idol is taken in a grand procession and immersed in the sea. (Ithu oru peria kalaatta)

For this pooja, different flowers are used. Erukkampoo(calotropis), thumbaipoo(white small flowers and arugampul( a type of grass) is very special for the lord. Different varieties of fruits are also offered.

1 comment:

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