Ganesh Chaturthi, a celebration of nature’s bounty in Goa

Arti Das

Ganesh Chaturthi, one of Goa’s biggest festivals is here. Chavath, as it is locally known, is in fact, a celebration of nature’s bounty which is well reflected in different aspects of the festivities.

Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | PHOTO: Arti Das


This is a wooden canopy, suspended above the Ganesh idol. It is decorated with a variety of fruits, vegetables, leaves, shoots, herbs, tubers, etc, and most of the wild plants are medicinal.

Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | matoli | PHOTO: Arti Das


Ganesha’s parents are also worshipped during Chaturthi – a coconut is used to symbolise Mahadev, while a bundle of wild leaves and flowers represent Gauri. Both of these are wrapped in kasal leaves.


Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | Mahadev | Gauri | kasal | PHOTO: Arti Das


The wild, yellow flowers, known as harna or sonki, start blooming at this time of the year in Goa. These flowers represent goddess Parvati or Gauri.

Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | harna | Parvati | Gauri | PHOTO: Arti Das


In some villages of Canacona, a pudi or bundle of 21 wild and medicinal leaves, are offered to Lord Ganesha.

Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | pudi | PHOTO: Arti Das


On the eve of Chaturthi, which is known as taya or hartalika puja, married women offer coconuts to goddess Paravati or Gauri. These are known as vainn, and are decorated with haldi/kumkum as well as threads with black beads.

Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | vainn | PHOTO: Arti Das


Coconut is the most important part of the matoli decor. A bunch of coconuts are the first items to be placed on the matoli, followed by the other items.

Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | coconuts | PHOTO: Arti Das


Nave, or the first paddy harvest of the season, is offered to Lord Ganesha on the second day of Chaturthi.


Ganesh Chaturthi | Chavath | Goa | Nave | | PHOTO: Arti Das

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