Good fortune and modaks coming soon

Good fortune and modaks coming soon
Communities gather to share sweets and take part in local festivities.

Ganesh Chathurthi will be celebrated September 2

By Natalia Ahmed

Published: Sat 31 Aug 2019, 3:07 PM

Last updated: Sun 1 Sep 2019, 5:22 PM

Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of the deity, Ganesha. The festival is performed to invite Ganesha into people's homes, as he is worshipped by Hindus as the god of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune.
Myths tell the story of Ganesha's birth, of his creation by the goddess, Parvati. He was created to act as a bodyguard for her while she bathed, but was beheaded when he tried to dissuade lord Shiva from entering the door. Parvati was enraged at his death, and Shiva tried to bring him back to life. Unfortunately, the only head found was that of an elephant - leading to his current appearance, with the head of an elephant and the body of a man. 
The first day of the festival is celebrated by installing Ganesha idols in homes, or have larger statues erected on temporary stages across cities in India. Prayers are offered to the statue, and sweets are distributed across the community. The next day, it is customary for the statue to be immersed in a water body, like a river or a sea.
In Bombay alone, over 150,000 statues are immersed annually. This is done so the clay idol dissolves, symbolizing Ganesha's return to the holy mountain, Mount Kailash. There is also a rush to buy modak, a sweet made of rice flour, coconut, and jaggery, which is believed to be one of the deity's preferred sweets.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by Indian diaspora across the world, including within the region. Last year, thousands celebrated the festival and long queues were seen outside the temple in Bur Dubai as early as 4 in the morning, for rituals and prayers. For most Hindus outside India, this is a special time to reconnect with the community and celebrate an age-old culture, while also looking forward to the future good fortune that this festival will bring.

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