Its time for home-coming and traditional ‘aartis’ and ‘bhajans’ in Goa as the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival locally known as ‘Chovoth’ starts on Friday.
Lakhs of Goans are headed back to their native to celebrate this festival, where Lord Ganesh is worshipped and offered sweets like ‘neuryos’ and ‘modaks’.
Urban areas will wear a deserted look while villages will come alive with people flocking to temples and pandals for offering prayers. Ganesha will be installed in every household and worshipped for two, five, eleven or twenty one days accordingly.
This year, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted showers during the festival.
Heavy rains which began since this week are likely to continue till September 1, said scientist V K Mini, attached to local IMD office.
As the festival is synonymous with wisdom and prosperity, people living in the mining belt are hoping that the elephant headed deity will bring a smile on their faces in this time of economic downturn.
“The state government has already announced that mining will resume after Ganesh Chaturthi festival. We will pray to the Lord that the economic activity in our area should start as soon as possible,” said Ajay Gaonkar, a truck owner from Sanvordem village.
Like Maharashtra, this festival is celebrated with religious fervour in Goa too.
Twice-a-day prayers, visiting relatives and reunion with siblings and cousins is an integral part of this festival.
Traditional musical instruments like ‘Ghumat’ and ‘Tanso-Shamel’ which are made out of clay are played while performing ‘aartis’.
“There is a bit of modernisation that has gripped this festival. But by and large people have kept the traditional fervour alive,” says Premnath Sadhale, a 76-year-old villager from Kavlem village in Ponda taluka.
“Gone are the days when the villagers used to celebrate this festival for entire ten days. Now people have time for maximum two to five days, after that they have to rush to their offices. Getting such a long leave from office is also a big issue,” he said.