GANESH CHATURTHI is a beautiful and glorious 10 day Hindu festival that reveres the great and glorious god Ganesha who we often honour in yoga class by chanting his name before practise.
Lord Ganesha as we know stands for the remover of obstacles and is the god of new beginnings. We like to think of September as being a month that brings us just that. A new chapter and a fiercely fresh start that January never quite lives up to.
The ten-day festivities start on the fourth day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls at the start of September. The festival is marked with installations of Ganesha idols in homes, or publicly on elaborate stages. Vedic hymns are chanted and Hindu texts are used for prayer such as Ganapati Upanishad. Offerings include sweets believed to be a favourite of the Lord Ganesha.
The festival ends on the tenth day and the great pink elephant headed idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting to a body of water where he is immersed.
This festival is a beautiful way to celebrate Lord Ganesha throughout India and to remind us of the sacred and holy power of the Indian traditions we study in our daily yoga practise.