Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesh, who is widely worshipped as the God of wisdom, power, prosperity and for his ability to remove obstacles and bring good fortune. Symbolically, Lord Ganesh is worshipped before the beginning of any auspicious work or occasion by Hindus. It is believed that for the fulfilment of one’s desires, his blessing is absolutely necessary.
Sanjay Jagatia, Secretary General of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK said "Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed God is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees for the duration of this festival. The festival lasts for 10 days, and is celebrated all over India, and is at its most elaborate in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Outside of India, it is celebrated widely in USA, Canada, Africa and throughout Europe, with UK leading the most elaborate and exciting festivities.
Suresh Shah and the Shah family who have sponsored this year’s event said “on Sunday 12th September 2010, over 500 devotees will lead a procession from Shah’s Pan House, 523 Foleshill Road to the Shree Krishna Temple in Harnall Lane where the Statue will be installed. The boisterous devotees all dressed in their colourful clothing will walk along the Foleshill Road, singing, dancing, chanting and pushing the spectacular decorated chariot carrying Lord Ganesh. We want as many people as possible to join us in the procession."
Mr Shah’s grand daughter Heena Shah continued “the festival will begin on Sunday with the procession of the huge elaborately crafted statue of Lord Ganesh, which has been especially constructed and beautifully decorated. Specially skilled artisans in India have put months of effort into making the statue made of plaster of paris. The festival has become bigger and better each year and gives the Hindu Community a feeling of unity and revived their spirit and faith. The festival is so popular that the preparations begin months in advance”.
Kumud Rau, President of Shree Krishna Temple Coventry added “once the statue of Lord Ganesh is installed at the Temple, a ceremony will be performed by the Temple Priest to invoke Lord Ganesh’s holy presence into the statue. This ritual is called the “Pran Pratistha Pooja”, during which a number of mantras are recited. Following this a special worship is performed where offerings of sweets, flowers, rice, coconut and coins are made to Lord Ganesh. The Shree Krishna Temple will be holding prayers to Lord Ganesh every day at 10.00am and 7.30pm during the festival from 12th Sept 2010 till 22nd September 2010. We welcome everyone to come and join us in celebrating this auspicious festival”.
On Wednesday 22nd September at 9.00am the statue will be immersed in the river at Stratford upon Avon. On this day a majestic procession of cars and coaches carrying the devotees will drive to Stratford upon Avon with the statue of Lord Ganesh, This procession will be accompanied by drum- beats, devotional songs and dancing. The statue will be finally immersed into the river where it will dissolve -this is known as Ganesh Visarjan. At this time people chant ‘Ganapati Bapa Moriya’ which translated means ‘O Lord Ganesh, come again speedily next year.
All devotees will then perform the traditional Indian Ras Garba and Dandiya Dance followed by enjoying a delicious, sumptuous pure vegetarian feast.