Ganesha makes divine abode in Goan homes

Ganesh Chaturthi is a time for families to come together, in celebration of their beliefs and culture
Celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa 2023.
Celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa 2023.Photo: Rohan Fernandes

It's finally that time of the year when the little state of Goa is buzzing with celebrations around Chawath. After weeks of preparations, Lord Ganesh is welcomed into homes, more so the hearts of the community.

In Goa, an atmosphere of festivity prevails at every nook and corner. Right from bringing Bappa home with some music and puja, spending time offering praise during the following days, enjoying meals and performing fugdi to bidding farewell at the visarjan, one can witness how Goans are truly rooted in their culture and hospitality.

Here are some aspects of Chawath celebrations in Goa:

Celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa 2023.
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Chawath is a time for families in Goa to reconnect and celebrate their culture.
Chawath is a time for families in Goa to reconnect and celebrate their culture.Photo: Rohan Fernandes

TIME TO CATCH UP! 

Festivals are a great excuse to meet up with friends and family. A break from the usual schedule, celebrations like Ganesh Chaturthi allow families to reconnect.

Extended families who’ve shifted for better prospects usually make it a point to gather at their Goan ancestral homes during this time.

Each member takes on various responsibilities from cleaning, decorating and cooking to even last-minute shopping.

The work not only gets done faster with more helping hands but also turns out to be fun with shared stories of the bygone days or the latest gossip.

Statues of Lord Ganesha are placed in beautiful makars.
Statues of Lord Ganesha are placed in beautiful makars.Photo: Rohan Fernandes

A SIGHT TO BEHOLD 

During the Chaturthi celebrations, Goan homes are transformed into little abodes for Lord Ganesha. The statue of the deity is placed in beautifully executed makars that are adorned with flowers, ferns and other decorative items.

In recent years, many have opted to decorate them with more eco-friendly materials like coconut shells, paper, etc.

You will also find a matoli installed above the idol. Lord Ganesha is believed to be a lover of fruits and sweets, and hence this matoli consists of varied fruits and flowers sourced from local markets that have plenty to offer.

Youth perform aartis at home and also participate at competitions.
Youth perform aartis at home and also participate at competitions.Photo: Rohan Fernandes

RAISE THE TEMPO 

Usually glued to social media, as Chaturthi nears, the Goan youth are seen replacing their phones with ghumats – a traditional instrument that is played during the Ganesh aartis

The youth usually spend hours practising these aartis and later visit every house in their locality to perform them. A devotional atmosphere sets in as the ensemble praises Lord Ganesha in unison.

Keeping to Goa's rich cultural heritage, professional groups also participate in various competitions held during the festival.

Families get-together to prepare traditional food.
Families get-together to prepare traditional food. Photo: Joshua Gonsalves

DELICIOSO

Whether it’s the modak with a coconut-jaggery filling or the roce and puri, the vegetarian food served during the festival is simple yet flavourful.

If you happen to visit any house during the festivities, be sure that leaving is impossible unless you savour all these items.

The household women usually get together to prepare dishes like rice-dalambade curry, fried breadfruit and sweets like kheerpatoliosnevris, etc, that are first offered to Ganesha and later served among the gathering. 

Celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa 2023.
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Lord Ganesh is immersed in the hope of having him return the next year.
Lord Ganesh is immersed in the hope of having him return the next year.Photo: Rohan Fernandes

HEARTBREAK AND HOPE 

It's never easy to say goodbye, and after having Lord Ganesh in their homes for days, it’s difficult to bid farewell. But not all goodbyes are forever, and Lord Ganesha is sent off in the hope of having him return the next year.

In Goa, families carry the idol of Lord Ganesh upto the place of immersion. There's usually some music and dancing along the way where people of all ages are seen shaking a leg.

Firecrackers and puja are followed by a member of the house dipping the idol and finally immersing the idol in the river.

As people part ways to return to their homes, they are grateful for the loads of blessings Lord Ganesh has brought into their lives.

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