Pandi and Chris explain what happens on Ganesh Day
Ganesh, the Elephant God, is probably one of the best loved of the enormous pantheon of Hindu Deities. He is credited with the ability to remove obstacles. He is the patron of learning, God of wisdom and gives success and protection against adversity! He is known by many different names across India but we refer to him as Ganesh.Once each year there is an important festival dedicated to him. In the larger towns and cities effigies are built and painted with different pastel colours, before being hauled through the streets on large carts. Sometimes these are several metres high and so the telephone and electricity lines need to be raised to allow Ganesh’s procession to pass by.
Most of us at Cardamom House are Hindus. We are all keen to preserve our ancient culture and traditions. On Ganesh Day we make an idol using clay and mud and decorate it with different colours and a small garland of flowers. Towards sunset we hold a pooja, a small prayer ceremony, in Ganesh’s honour. Our own home-made mud and clay Ganesh was placed before our ‘altar’ in our pooja area, with several other Ganesh idols we have in and around the house. During the ceremony, he too became blessed. This part of the celebrations, lasts about five minutes is both solemn, spiritual and serious. Then, we have some fun, as we like to celebrate such an occasion with happiness.
Accompanied by our ‘drum’, actually a metal meal plate beaten with a wooden stick, Ganesh and all participants make a
noisy procession to the edge of the Lake. We immerse Ganesh in it. The mud dissolves quickly releasing a number of coins embedded deep in the structure – which everyone tries to claim as theirs!
At Cardamom House, we enjoy as many festive occasions as we can. Our guests are invited to join in.