Ganesh Chaturthi: A diamond for the divine
Festivals call for the finest clothes and ornaments, sweets and inviting friends and our loved ones over to our homes. Ganesh Chaturthi is no different and we look forward to the excitement and festivities, months in advance.
Ganesh Chaturthi is the day when Lord Ganesha was born. He is said to be the remover of obstacles and is worshipped before beginning any new task. There are several stories about the significance of this festival.
Apart from Lord Ganesha himself, people worship some important symbols that are associated with him.
Elephants are said to be the wisest of all animals and so the elephant-headed deity is associated with infinite wisdom. A lot of Indian children carry a small statue of Ganesha in their school bags.
The small mouse at his feet is a symbol of humility. Even the mouse is worshipped and sometimes, even placed at the entrance of the pandal (marquee) where the idol is kept.
For many, this festival signifies a new beginning, which is why some people start their new businesses sometime after Ganesh Chaturthi. Some people even renew unsuccessful ventures after the festival with the hope of being successful.
Being a holiday in most Indian states, this festival is a chance for people to spend time with family. In general, the celebrations last for up to 11 days. Some people bring a small Ganesha idol home for few days and often observe a fast during that time.
In cities where Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular festival, public Ganesha idols are adorned with jewellery and silk garments.
These garments are usually bright colours that are considered auspicious. It is the same with the jewellery.
Devotees make offerings of sweets, expensive clothes and jewellery. This is also the time when a lot of us give alms to the poor so that they too can enjoy the festival.
Even though most pandals use imitation jewellery, they aim for at least one genuine piece. It is usually a pair of solid gold earrings or a large necklace that adorns the idol. For several years now, gold has been a preferred choice for these ornaments but people also use diamonds.
Like gold, even diamond has an auspicious significance. It is not necessary to have bulky diamond jewellery to highlight this auspiciousness. Most people wear at least one diamond ornament while offering prayers to one-tusked God. It can be a pair of diamond earrings, a diamond ring or a diamond pendant.
For many, this festival means roaming the city to see the best Ganpati idols and take Lord’s blessings. It is also a chance for everyone to exchange small gifts and mementos to friends and relatives.
These gifts are mostly small Lord Ganesha statues plated with silver, gold or made of glass. Sometimes the statue also has a diamond embedded on it.
People who customise the gifts for their near and dear ones come up with new ideas and designs. There are those who buy small diamonds separately to have them embedded in a Ganesha statue or pendant. Not only do these little gifts look pretty but they are also easy to handle.