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Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa : Here’s what to expect

Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa is the most auspicious and important festival of the Hindu community in Goa. Also known as Chovoth. Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa usually falls on the 4th day of Bhadarva of Hindu calendar in August/September. 

Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa is symbolized by the worship of clay idols of Lord Ganesha. It’s celebrated for a minimum of two days and can go up to 21 days. The clay idols come in various sizes and are very intricately painted. Preparations for the festival begin days in advance. Men get busy with decorating houses while women start preparing sweets. Here’s why Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa is really fun and you should be here ASAP.

Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa: Brief History

There are two legends about Ganesha’s birth. The first one states that Goddess Parvati created Ganesha out of dirt off her body while having a bath and asked him to guard her door while she bathes. Shiva returned at that time, but as Ganesha didn’t know him, he stopped him from entering.

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Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

An angry Shiva severed Ganesha’s head after a combat between the two. That enraged Parvathi. So Shiva promised to bring Ganesha back to life. The devas who went in search of a head facing north of a dead person could manage only the head of an elephant. Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child. And brought him back to life.

The second legend has it that Ganesha was created by Shiva and Parvati on request of the Devas. As he was proclamied to be an obstacle-creator in the path of Rakshasas,. And an obstacle-averter to help the Devas.

Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa: The Grand Celebrations

A life-like clay sculpture of Lord Ganesha is made a couple of months before the day of Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa. The size of this idol differs. The priest, usually clad in saffron dhoti and shawl. He then invokes life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras.

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Umanath Anant Naik painting his Ganesh idols in Nagueshi

Coconut, jaggery, 21 modaks, 21 durva blades and red flowers are offered.  The ritual of Visarjan takes place on the last day. Here the family along with relatives take the sculpture of lord Ganesha. And place it in a nearby river or lake. In recent times, the use of plaster of Paris in the making of these sculptures has been banned. This was done to reduce water contamination. Now a days these idols are usually made of mud.

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Image courtesy : Trawell

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival ushers in a season of joyous celebration all over Goa. Besides the religious significance, the festival is an occasion for family members to reunite and seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. People of all communities visit their Hindu friends to join in the celebration. 

Food during Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa

Modaks are considered the favourite sweets of Lord Ganesha and often served as Bhog or offering to Lord Ganesha. Modaks are an alltime favourite during Ganesh chaturthi in Goa. But the most popular modak in Goa is the steamed modak made from rice flour. Ladoos like coconut ladoo, besan ladoo and nevereos are also a popular snack.

goa - ganesh chaturthi in Goa - festivals in Goa - Goa fun - ganesh in goa - modak

goa - ganesh chaturthi in Goa - festivals in Goa - Goa fun - ganesh in goa - modak

Image courtesy: Rajan Parrikar

Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa : Places to visit

Every household celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa very vividly. However, there are some beautiful Ganesh Installations in Goa worth paying a visit to. The best Ganesh installations can be seen in Marcel & Cumbarjua where Sri Ram Mandir, Cumbarjua & Marshel Kala, Premi, Marcel are two places that host great installations.

In the capital of Goa,  one can visit the Hanuman Temple at Altinho, the Police Station Headquarters & Boca de Vaca to take a look at the most artistic installations of Lord Ganesh in Panjim.

Maruti Temple, Altinho, Panjim, Goa

Credits: Gaurang Naik

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