Ganesh Chaturthi- the eleven day long festival which marks the birthday and the homecoming of Lord Ganesha is still a few weeks ahead and I already see a lot of movement happening around. I’m sure most of you must have planned a lot for this year’s fest and must be too excited about bringing Bappa home. A festival which was originally celebrated by the Maharashtrain community is now a happening event across the globe! Our adorable Ganpati Bappa, also known as ‘Vighna Hartaa’ (problem-solver) has millions of devotees worldwide that today even includes people from different nationalities.
An occasion of merriment
For Indians, the popularity of Bappa is definitely not new. The strong aura of positivity surrounding this occasion reflects in the enthusiasm shown by devotees while beautifully decorating their houses, organizing cultural meets on a grand scale and of course, a platter of delicacies like modaks served as ‘prasad’ at the end of worship rituals. With each passing year, there has been growing energy even among celebrities who patronize this Hindu deity. Riteish Deshmukh hand crafting a Ganesh idol and Manish Malhotra and Salman Khan’s star-studded Ganpati puja evenings are some instances which indicate that our super celebrated Bappa has plenty of celebrity fans too!
Interesting facts about Bappa and Ganesh Chaturthi
- Did you know that our cute Ganesha, who is believed to be a bachelor, has twin wives names Riddhi and Siddhi? These two were created by Lord Brahma to placate a distraught Ganpati who felt odd about not having a wife while other deities had their spouses with them.
- A lot of other stories too revolve around the life of Ganesha. Looking at the moon during these days is considered unlucky. Hindu mythology narrates that once Ganesha’s mouse, who was taking his master on a ride home after a sumptuous feast, dropped him on seeing a snake. As Ganesha fell, his stomach burst open and all the laddoos (modaks) that he had consumed came out. On seeing this, the moon started laughing, which enraged Ganesha. He broke one of his teeth and hurled it at the moon, cursing it to never be able to shine again. The end of this mythological chapter says that the moon sought forgiveness and the curse was revoked, but the myth about the moon being a bad luck omen still prevails in some places.
- During the British rule, freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak united the Hindu community by organizing a grand celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. The popularity of this festival thereafter spread over beyond the Maharashtrian region.
Wearing a sari for the occasion
From the plethora of attire options in western as well as ethnic wear, it’s always a good idea to opt for an Indian saree for such occasions. Traditionally, women of the Maratha community essentially wore a nine yards sari draped in the Maharastrian style and accessorized with loads of ethnic jewellery, especially an ornate nose-ring and flower add-on for their hair. In present times, the wearing style may have changed yet most of the women still prefer wearing this elaborate garment for worshipping Ganesha. The traditional feel and cultural sentiments attached to it blend well with the auspicious vibes of the occasion and that makes the Indian sari the perfect attire for a Ganesh Puja.
To breathe into traditions completely, you can opt for a Paithani saree for the occasion. These are mainly worn by Maharastrian women during weddings and other auspicious days. Apart from that you can pick other forms of silk sarees as well as cotton silk saris for the festival. Bottle green, yellow, orange and red hues form the traditional festive colour palette. Shimmery zari borders, precisely woven buttis and flower vines are the details to look out for if you want to keep your wardrobe purely ethnic. You can also take cues from our B-town beauties who wear their traditions with pride to celebrate this short stay of Ganpati in their houses.
For the morning puja, a bright yellow silk saree edged with a green or golden border is a big thumbs-up to look like an Indian fashion goddess. If yellow is too bright for you, then mustard and earthy tones orange will also do well!
Darker tones like maroon and bottle green will be congruous for the evening set-up. Ganesh aarti is performed twice a day so play around with colours and shimmers accordingly!
Once you’ve decided to follow your traditions you might as well do it completely! Meenakari ornaments, filigree work jewellery, heavy jhumkis, layered necklaces and kadas (hand cuffs) in golden metal make apt add-ons and while you’re so keen to don a purely desi avatar, don’t forget to add some flowers to your neatly tied hair bun!
Following traditions is definitely a good idea, but let that fashion empress in you breathe too! It’s the time for celebrations and loads of merriment and if being a modern ethnic diva interests you then you must definitely widen your closet options to accommodate that! Keeping your dress code intact, these contemporary sarees will work as a trend breather for your festive attire.
Half and Half Sarees
Break free from the monotony of single coloured drapes and grace the occasion in a trendy half-and-half saree. You may choose traditional colours like green and maroon or just go off-beat and pick up some outstanding contrast!
Shades of elegance! Ombre satin georgette and silk georgette sarees are for the ones who like to keep away from the overwhelming dressiness of heavily embroidered party drapes. Shaded pallus give a dressy touch without going overboard.
This is your on-the-go silhouette! Given the amount of work load surrounding a Ganesh puja, you can easily drape a lehenga saree and also walk around freely while getting things done seamlessly. Quite a power dressing option if you’re hosting a grand religious get-together!
So whether it’s a traditional drape or a pre-stitched contemporary one, a sari is indeed the best wardrobe for a pious occasion like Ganesh Chaturthi. So celebrate this delightful Indian festival with the best of ethnic wear!
We wish you all a season full of joy and prosperity!