With the convergence of different cultures in all the major countries and cities of the world, different festivals belonging to different cultures have begun to be celebrated in almost every nation. Even the religious festivals whose celebrations were hitherto restricted to the people of the corresponding religion have begun to be accepted and observed even by people of other cultures and other religions. The sacred Ganesh Chaturthi festival of the Hindus is one such occassion that is now observed in many other nations of the globe apart from India. Go through this wonderful article to know how Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated around the world. If you enjoy reading about Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations around the world, click here and share this article with your friends and dear ones. Have a happy Ganesh Chaturthi celebration!
With more and more Hindus migrating to U.K, Hindu festivals have begun to witness celebrations in different parts of Europe. In London, Ganesh Chaturthi was observed for the first time in the Vishwa Hindu Temple in 2005, due to the sincere efforts of The Hindu culture and Heritage Society, a Southall based organisation. The event was supported by a number of temples, gurdwaras and many other organisations in the U.K and saw a grand celebration. The Shobha Yatra (procession) started from the premises of the Vishwa Hindu Mandir, proceeded to Ram Mandir at King Street, Southall, and was finally immersed in the river Thames at Putney Pier in the presence of dignitaries.
With the Hindu community itself forming about 52% of its population, the Ganesh Chaturthi observance sees fervid celebrations in Mauritius. Annually, the occassion is observed here on the 4th day of the lunar month of Bhadrapada (August/September as per the Gregorian calendar). The tradition of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration started here in 1896. The well known Bhiwajee family in Mauritius is credited with the first observance of Ganesh Chaturthi in Cascades Valley in Henrietta, a tradition that they have still kept alive. With time, other Hindus who came to Mauritius joined in too and began to celebrate the festival in a grander way. In present times, the festival has become so popular that the Mauritian government has proclaimed the Ganesh Chaturthi day as a public holiday. On the eve of the celebrations, Lord Ganesha Statues are blessed in various temples and households and taken for immersion in the sea. Mauritius being an island with sea on all sides, devotees from different villages and towns take part in the "Shova Yatra" and proceed to the beaches for the immersion of the idols.
The Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in France is probably nowhere as big as in Paris. The Sri Manikka Vinayakar temple in Paris celebrates the occassion in a grand manner with even a chariot procession being organised during the time. The festival is celebrated in the temple for ten days at the end of which the "Utsava Murti" (idol that is specially created only to be worshipped for the duration of a festival) of Lord Ganesh is mounted on a chariot which is pulled through the streets by thousands of local Hindus dressed in traditional costumes. Two water trucks proceed some distance ahead of the chariot and wash the road to purify the path of Lord Ganesh. Numerous devotees of the Lord accompany his idol, dancing and singing "bhajans" (songs worshipping divine beings). Other than people of Indian origin, many Sri Lankans, French and even Europeans take part in the celebrations. The chariot covers four miles of the French capital and comes back to the temple.
In the United States of America, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by different religious organisations. The Sai Samsthan, a Hindu society in Warrenville, Illinois, supposedly organises the grandest Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in the U.S.A, which is attended by thousands of local Indians as well as people of other nationalities. Other well known organisations to hold the Ganesh puja are the North American Sankethi Association of New York and The Hindu Temple Society in Miami, Florida. The festival sees local Indians striving to observe all the rituals as perfectly as possible including the organising of the festive parades and the immersion of the idols. At the end of the celebrations, the idols of Lord Ganesha are given a festive farewell in the local rivers and seas. While in Miami, the Ganesha idols are immersed in the sea in the north of Miami, in San Francisco Bay Area the devotees take their Lord to the Baker Beach for immersion.
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