Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Adelaide continue to expand
One of the most awaited Indian festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated in Adelaide in late August at Ganesh Temple with pomp and procession.
Dilip Chirmuley has been organising the event since 1986 with the help of some local families, and this year’s evening celebration attracted crowds from all backgrounds to participate and enjoy the festival.
The celebration kicked off with procession Shivagarjana. Male and female dhol and cymbal players actively participated followed by the dancing, singing enthusiastic families.
The instruments like dhols, tashas, lezims and cymbals which help make the procession a success had been kindly donated by the Shivgarjana squad in India on the request of Anup Deshmukh who belonged to the Shivgarjana squad in Pune.
Transportion costs were beared by some local Marathi families here.
The idea of the procession, which is in its third year, was initiated by one of the Marathi community members to take the utsav image of the lord around the temple.
As the procession is quite loud, very careful measures had been taken to avoid any inconvenience to the neighbours.
Permission from the local police had been taken to escort the hour long procession through the street outside the temple.
Dance and music carried on outside the temple grounds even after the procession ended while other devotees participated in Havan Puja, Ganesh Puja, Bhajan and talks on Ganesh Chaturthi inside the temple.
The tiny church converted temple space was struggling to accommodate the families and devotees pouring in throughout the evening including 1200 Maharashtrian families.
The temple society has plans under consideration to expand the hall to increase the seating capacity.
New ideas brought in by newly arrived families revamps the festival each year in effort to duplicate Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated in Marathi cities and towns back home.
Six weeks of meetings goes into preparation and planning for the festival by the Adelaide Marathi Mandal committee members.
The current president of the Adelaide Marathi Mandal and main co-ordinator of the festival Mr Sadanand More has been successfully cooking Mahaprasad for 1200 devotees for 2 consecutive years with the help of committee members Mr Didlip Kulkarni (Vice President), Dr Vrushali Sanap (Gen Sec), Gangadhar Patil (Treasurer) and 30 plus volunteers with arranged donation from devotees as well.
This prasad is served to the devotees at the end of the evening celebration which included rice, vegatble sabji, scrumptious modaks, laddos and other accompaniments.
Adelaide’s Marathi population began to substantially increase around eight years ago. Therefore it was decided to establish Adelaide Marathi Mandal (AMM) in 2007.
The number of devotees attending the celebration has increased from around 200 in 1986 to 1200 in 2015.
Lord Ganpati has been worshiped for at least 1400 years as part of Shaivism.
The most famous devotee of Lord Ganesha, Sri Moraya Gosavi popularised the worship of the elephant headed god in Maharashtra.
Around the 10th century temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh began to appear the largest of which is on the Rock Fort of Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.
Also known as Vinayak Chaturthi this festival is one of the most popular festivals in India and mainly Mumbai.
The entire city of Mumbai comes out on the streets for the Visarjan (immersion) of the Ganesh murti irrespective of cast, creed or religion.
Concern has grown over the years of the after effects of the Visarjan which have caused water pollution.
Lately people are coming up with eco-friendly ways to do the Ganapati Visarjan and using materials like paper maches, natural colours, natural gum and even chocolate to make the Ganesh murtis.
So let this be a reminder to all of us to celebrate our festivals in an eco-friendly manner!