Round up of the Indian Festive Season 2019
December 15, 2019
In India, there is a saying that roughly translates to ‘celebrating thirteen festivals in twelve months‘. In an earlier article, I wrote about the grandeur of this year’s Durga Puja (check it out!!)
In this blog I will give you all a glimpse into to the other festivals we celebrated during the last one or two months.
The Festivals –
The Indian festive season starts with Ganesh Chaturthi, worship of Lord Ganesha – the remover of obstacles, the collector of knowledge and wisdom
and the beginner of good things. As the God with an obese belly and an elephant like trunk, Ganesha is almost a friendly brotherly God with whom everyone feels very familiar.
Mainly a festival of the states of Maharashtra and around, Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated with pomp and flair in almost every part of India these days.
People bring the God home, keep him for either three or seven days and worship him, feed him and gather around him to share their stories. Ganesha becomes part of the family for these days and it’s said that he removes all obstacles and dangers from the worshipers’ lives.
If you are in Mumbai or Maharashtra, be sure to visit the Siddhivinayak Temple and the LalBaugcha Raja. These are the world renowned Ganesha worship places and you will be bowled over by their grandeur and magnificence.
Bengalis celebrate Lakshmi Puja, a week after the Durga Puja. However in other parts of India, Lakshmi Puja is done around Diwali which is another huge festival here.
Goddess Lakshmi is the deity of wealth and prosperity. Ideally done in the evenings, the worship of Goddess Lakshmi is more often than not, a very homely affair. The priest comes to peoples’ homes and we have an elaborate ritualistic offering made to the Goddess.
The houses are decorated, the pedestal on which the deity sits is decorated and then the offerings are prepared with devotion and love and spread out in front of the Goddess as humble offering. In hope that the deity will bless the family with wealth, wisdom and prosperity, almost every household in India celebrates Lakshmi Puja at some time or the other throughout the year.
Last but definitely not the least (well actually not the last also!!), we will go into Diwali. I guess everyone has heard about this grand festival of lights.
Every place, every house, everywhere in India is decked up like a newly wed bride with candles, diyas (earthen pots where oil is added and a
wick is ignited that gives light) and a variety of electric lights adding the charm.
There are many phases of this festival. In West Bengal, Diwali coincides with Kaali Puja where Bengalis worship Goddess Kaali, the deity of power, death and doom. She is the ultimate power to fight against evil. With much pomp and fan fare, Kaali Puja is celebrated in West Bengal and also I some other parts of the country.
In other regions, Lakshmi Puja is done. Some business men and industrialists seek blessings from Lakshmi-Ganesha by doing their worship. Diwali is associated with buying new silver or gold items and jewelry which is known as Dhanteras.
Another big aspect of Diwali is bursting of fire crackers. The magnificent crackers light up the night skies and lend the ultimate grandeur to the gala festival.
However, due to the impact on climate and the pollution these crackers cause, their bursting has reduced a lot over the years. There are a lot of regulations in place now in what type of crackers people can sell and buy. And thinking about the pollution, people have themselves become a little more aware about firecrackers.
As the Indian festive season draws to an end this year, the eager wait for the next year’s festivities begin. Here’s hoping that I could give you all a peak into the fantastic Indian festivals and celebrations. See you all soon with some other topic on another blog.