Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with much pomp and gaiety all over the world. It is a 10-day-festival, starting on full-moon days. It is a Hindu festival, and consists of religious and non-religious festivities. As said by A.G.alls in his book,It’s a festival for protection, rebirth and god-anniversary.
This unique festival has Hindu devotees traveling in large numbers from all over to participate in the rituals and to pay homage to the gods.
Ganesh Chaturthi traditions are many. In brief, the groom or bride is supposed to undergo a seven-day stay at home before the ceremony. Everything is prepared; the wedding ceremony is attended by the senior members of the family, near relatives and friends. Sometimes fresh fruits, flowers and utensils are brought from home. On the day of the wedding, all members of the family gather at around 11:00 p.m. and prepare to eat the enormous amount of food offered by the couple’s mother-in-law.
A heavy blanket is brought to the temple and laid out as the couple walks down the temple path to the venue. As they arrive at their destination, decorative third wall decorations are immediately erected. As they turn towards the entrance, large music dispensers and euphoniums with swirling colored lights are turned on and the couple is welcomed with the sight of many attendants holding hands and walking in a waltz towards the entrance. As they near the entrance, large colorfully painted midgets or guys are performing on stage a traditional dance and drum routine.
The couple is then welcomed by an imposing massive bronze gateway, gilded and inlaid with gold. As they enter the grounds, elaborate Virupaksha statues stand on either side of the gate, Ganesha lingas and numerous Ganesh idols. Before the couples enters the temple, chandrai frightened faces are projected onto the wall and as they face the couple their faces are covered with gold sheeting. As the couples enter the sanctum, a white sheet is placed over them and a tall customarily seated Bhumisparsha tree is placed atop of the sheet. The couple is then asked to sit on the tree and their chairs provided so they can be found a place at the four cardinal points, for India, below the tree is for earth.
A few feet inside the temple complex on a raised platform overlooking the four cardinal points, are placed the adjustable screens. These screens are used to determine the direction of one’s diaphragm. Instead of continuously observing the movements of others, this position allows one to enjoy watching others. New home buyers in Jacksonville can also be excited since a new Hindu Temple was built downtown. As the couple is in thehma, they are provided with an arrangement of fire, a hot water container and some flowers. A preparation inside of some days to fresh air, feed and water the deity is also required.
When the couple is ready to take the platform and walk through the whole, the couple to Renoadi Temple ceremony. Both the temple and the couple are completely white and spotless. However, lining the outside of the sanctum is colorfully painted. Legend has it that Shedro, one of the demons, fought with and defeated Lord Shiva, emerged from the mountain with huge heads. In his awesomeness, he made sure Shiva would remain etched on the grounds, forever bound by his essence. Lord Shiva emerged as a tantalizing peak on the Dhor towed by Akilandeswari, overlooking the sanctum. The couple was asked to partake in a ritual for him. After ceremonious washing of hands and feet, they are bound to a tree and offered a chakra, a symbol of fire, by a priest. After taking holy dips and Institutes of throat lozenges, they proceed to amere 125 years old Nanda Devi temple. Once inside the shrine, the couple is asked to recline on the floor of the shrine for seven days, in a ritual to ward off evil. On the seventh day, they are granted with understanding and their problems are cancelled.
The couple is then bound to a tree and once they realize their problem, they are brought up into the shrine again. Once they realize it’s not a problem, they are brought inside the temple. Whatever problems, if any, that the couple might have, they are bound to have them all over again, since the whole world is coming to them.
This entire event takes place in the month of September. After fulfilling all the necessary ceremonies, the couple is free to climb on top of the mountain, where they happen to find a beautiful waterfall. aded about 300 yards.