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An occasion to cherish

Shwetha Satyanarayan, September 9, 2013, DHNS:

Family Bonding

bustling The markets are filled with all kinds of flowers for Ganesha Habba.

It’s that time of the year when Bangaloreans welcome one of the most widely celebrated festivals – Ganesha Habba.

Among many things, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the remover of obstacles, a treasure trove of knowledge.

But what is the relevance of the festival in today’s fast-paced life? Does the festival hold the same significance as before? Metrolife speaks to people from all walks of life to get an insight into what Ganesha Habba means and whether festivals enjoy historical importance in the present-day lifestyle.

According to City-based astrologer Dr Padmanabhan, Ganesha is the first lord that was prayed to even during
ancient times.

He explains, “One can notice that Lord Ganesha’s face is in the shape of om, the beginning of everything. This festival is the start of all other festivals in the Hindu calendar.”

He elaborates that different forms of Ganesha are worshipped depending upon the occasion.

For instance, students pray to Vidya Ganapathi and those undergoing some hurdles look up to Vighna Ganapathi.

The festival has so many aspects to it. Does it mean the same to the younger generation as well? Jatin Ravishankar, a student studying outside the State, is back home to be with his family during the festival.

For him, festivals mean bonding time.

He says, “I believe celebrating our festivals is important as this is the only time we get a chance to be with our cousins. I look forward to eating sweets and other festival delicacies. These are the reasons I await festivals.”

However, he is unaware of the religious significance of celebrating Ganesha Habba.
He adds, “I really don’t know why and how celebrating this festival came into practice as it does not have any relevance to me. It is just a tradition that I follow.”

“For children, Ganesha Habba is just another day with good food and new clothes,” says Sandhya, a homemaker.

She says, “I have come to terms with the fact that our kids don’t find festivals as interesting as we thought them to be as children. Maybe it is the generation gap, but yes, there are changes.”

“To cite an example, the number of delicacies prepared on a festival day has gone down drastically,” she says.

“Especially for Ganesha Habba, I remember my mother preparing delicacies
almost a week before the festival. Even cooking was done only after bathing and offering puja. Now, I come across women who cook sweets the previous day to lessen the burden on the festival day. The sanctity of celebrations has reduced, maybe,” she adds. Each person has a reason to celebrate the festival and it seems Ganesha Habba has not lost its charm among devotees.


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