The Matolis are decked and the mandaps are decorated. Decks are finally cleared to welcome Ganpati Bappa into Goan homes, even as people are gearing up to celebrate the festival with zeal.
With no Covid restrictions in place, there is excitement among people not seen in the last two years. The festivities remained subdued on account of the pandemic and the restrictions that came along with it.
The capital city witnessed a flurry of activity as people thronged the markets for last-minute shopping. The flower vendors were seen doing brisk business. The Ashtami stalls on the riverside Mandovi promenade also witnessed good business.
In the past two years, small-time entrepreneurs, local vendors and even artists had no business.
A musician, Prajyot Desai from Xelvon, said last year and the year before that things were not good due to the pandemic.
Local Goan artists were not able to perform aartis and bhajans due to restrictions, but this year several bhajan and aarti groups have been asked to come and perform, he added.
In Harmal, Pernem, Raj Harmalkar, said that annually over 70 family members came together to celebrate Chaturthi on a grand scale. "For the last two years, celebrations were subdued. This year my cousins and elders have come together and we have done Chaturthi decorations. We will have several cultural programmes in our native place," he said.
Meanwhile, the government has asked people to be careful even though Covid cases are down. It has warned them not to let their guard down and crowd at places of immersion and while visiting sarvajanik Ganesh mandals.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Goans went into celebratory mode by performing Gauri Pujan, which is the worship of Mahadev (Lord Shiva) and Parvati, parents of Lord Ganesh.