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A project on the Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi. By Amy Donnelly......

Amy Donnelly

on 1 March 2011

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Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival. It lasts for 10 days in August or September. It is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Ganesh.
The Hindus believe that praying to Lord Ganesh during the festival will bring good luck and prosperity for the family.

Prosperity- Being successful and well.
By Amy Donnelly

A festival in the major world religion of Hinduism. INTRODUCTION HISTORY
Before 18th century, the festival was just a private affair. But, the festival was transformed into a huge annual public event by Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak.
Lokmanya Tilak was quick to recognize Ganesh’s wide appeal as a “god for everyone”. He used this for bringing together people from all ways of life and helped to create national unity.
The first major community celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi was in 1894. He built large statues of Ganesh for the festival. Activities like dance, music performances, debates, plays and poetry recitals were encouraged to show the public's devotion to Ganesh
There was also the idea for holding huge ceremonies which involved submerging statues and images of Ganesh in large pools of water on the festival’s tenth day. During this ceremony, the statue was taken to the water as part of a huge public parade through the busy city streets. WHEN IS
GANESH CHATURTHI? Ganesh Chaturthi In 2010, Ganesh Chaturthi was on Saturday, the 11th of September.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day festival ending on Anant Chaturthi, observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada. It starts on shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). HOW GANESH CHATURTHI IS CELEBRATED In ordinary homes, a statue or model of Ganesh is traditionally installed by the head of the house in to the Pooja Ghaar - the home shrine. The Pooja Ghaar is cleaned, and rangoli decorations are placed. The various rituals that take place are:

- Decorating of the statue with ornaments, flowers and lights.

- Chanting of verses from the Sanskrit.

- Everyone present is given a few flowers and rice in their hands. These are later thrown on the statue of Ganesh.

- Puja and aarti are performed every morning and evening using flowers like the red hibiscus, or any other red flower. Rice, supari - betel nuts and leaves, haldi- turmeric, kumkum - red powder, milk, incense and oil lamps are also used. Most people rush home from work to take part in the festivities and gather around the brightly decorated Ganesh. Everyone joins in to sing the bhajans - hymns. ABOUT GANESH Ganesh is a Hindu god. He is the son of Shiva, the god of death, destruction and war, and of Parvati, the goddess of love.
He is one of the most easily identifiable gods because of his elephant head. There are many stories about how ganesh got his head and here is one... HOW GANESH GOT HIS HEAD Long ago the goddess Parvati, while washing, created a boy out of the dirt of her body and gave him the job of guarding the entrance gates. When Shiva, her husband returned, he was surprised to find a stranger refusing to let him in. He struck off the boy's head in anger.
Parvati was very upset and to comfort her, Shiva sent out his army to fetch the head of anyone sleeping who was facing north. The army found a sleeping elephant and brought back its head, which was then attached to the body of the boy. Shiva restored his life and made him the leader of his army. FOODS MADE DURING THE FESTIVAL Anarsa- Oval shaped balls made of rice, powdered sugar, milk, poppy seeds and ghee

Besan Ladoo- Round balls made of besan flour, sugar, ghee, raisins, chopped cashews and cardamom powder.

Ghee- Clarified butter used in Indian Cookery.
Clarified Butter- Butter made by heating and removing the milk solids

Anarsa Besan Ladoo HOW GANESH CHATURTHI IS CELEBRATED AROUND THE WORLD U.K- In London, Ganesh Chaturthi was observed for the first time in the Vishwa Hindu Temple in 2005, and to the efforts of The Hindu Culture and Heritage Society, the event was supported by a number of temples and many other organisations in the U.K. The parade on the tenth day started at the Vishwa Hindu Temple and finished in the Thames at Putney Pier.

U.S.A- The Sai Samsthan, a Hindu society in Warrenville, Illinois, supposedly organises the biggest Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in the U.S.A, which is attended by thousands of local Indians as well as people of other nationalities.
Other well known organisations to hold the Ganesh Chaturthi are the North American Sankethi Association of New York and The Hindu Temple Society in Miami, Florida. In Miami, the Ganesh statues are immersed in the sea to the north of Miami. In San Francisco Bay Area the Hindus take the statues to Baker Beach for immersion. CONCLUSION During this project I learnt about

- the god Ganesh

- Hinduism and the Hindu people

- the customs of the Hindu people

- that religion plays a huge part in peoples lives Lokmanya Tilak Submerged statue -People also join their community in a parade down to a river or lake to submerge statues and images of Ganesh. HINDUISM Date founded: 1500 b.c or earlier
Place founded: India
Founder: None
Sacred Text: The Vedas
Original Language: Sanskrit
Place of worship: Temple or Pooja Ghaar (Home Shrine) Aum THE END
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