August 31, 2011

Happy Gowri-Ganesha Festival

Ganesh festival in IndiaImage via WikipediaToday is Ganesha Chathurthi, a festival during which Hindus across the world pray to Lord Ganesha the lord of wisdom, knowledge, and learning. Like all other Hindu festivals this was also a very closed door family event till the time of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He thought that one way to unite the fragmented Hindu community was by bringing these festivals to the open. He initiated performance of Ganesha festivals in public in Maharashtra. Over time it has become a national phenomenon.

In India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, the Ganesha festival is celebrated on a very grand scale. Every street has its own Ganesh Pandal (tent) and everyone in the community get together to celebrate the event and pray to the lord for wisdom, learning and removal of obstacles in their path to success.

Unfortunately this kind of public festivities are not possible in America. So Hindus get together at homes or in the temple and celebrate the event.
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