Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chavithi, is an auspicious Hindu festival which is celebrated for 10 days every year. The festival is celebrated in the Bhadra month as per the Hindu calendar which generally falls in mid-August to September. It marks the birthday of the beloved elephant-headed Lord Ganesha.
Ganesha is known as the God of wealth, sciences, knowledge, wisdom and prosperity, and that’s why most Hindus remember him and seek his blessings before starting any important work. Lord Ganesh is known by 108 different names like Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighnaharta among others. This festival is celebrated with great devotion and joy by Hindus throughout the world. In India, it is majorly celebrated in states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.
Ganesh Chaturthi history
Ganesha is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. There are various stories behind his birth but two of them are the most common ones.
According to the first story, Lord Ganesha was created by Parvati out of dirt from her body to guard her in the absence of Shiva. She gave him the task of guarding her bathroom door while she took a bath. In the meantime, Shiva returned home and Ganesha, who didn’t know who Shiva was, stopped him. This angered Shiva and he severed Ganesha’s head after a tiff between the two. Parvati was enraged when she came to know about this; Lord Shiva, in turn, promised to get Ganesha back to life. The devas were sent to search for a child’s head facing north but they could only find an elephant’s head. Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child’s body, and that how Ganesha was born. The other popular story is that the Devas requested Shiva and Parvati to create Ganesha so that he can be a Vighnakarta (creator of obstacles) for rakshasas (demons), thus being a Vighnaharta (averter of obstacles) and helping Devas.
Ganesh Chaturthi importance
It is believed that devotees who pray to Ganesha are able to fulfil their wishes and desires. So, the main essence of Ganesh Chaturthi is that devotees who pray to him are set free of sins and it leads them on the path of knowledge and wisdom.
Historically, the festival has been celebrated since the time of King Shivaji. It was during India’s freedom struggle that Lokmanya Tilak changed Ganesh Chaturthi from a private celebration to a grand public festival where people from all castes of the society can come together, pray and be united.
Over the years with growing environmental awareness, people have started celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in an environmentally friendly way. This includes– getting Ganesha idols made of natural clay/ mitti and using only flowers and natural items for decorating the pandals.
Rituals of Vinayaka Chavithi
There are four main rituals which are performed during the 10-day long festival. They are namely– Pranapratishhtha, Shhodashopachara, Uttarpuja, and Ganpati Visarjan. The excitement of Ganesh Chaturthi settles in weeks before the festival actually begins. Artisans start preparing clay idols of Ganesha in different poses and sizes. The Ganesha idols are installed in beautifully decorated ‘pandal’ at homes, temples or localities. The statue is also decorated with flowers, garlands and lights. A ritual called Pranapratishhtha is observed where a priest chants mantra to invoke life in the diety. Prayers are then offered to Ganesha’s idol in 16 different ways. This ritual is called Shhodashopachara. People celebrate by singing or playing religious songs, dancing to drum beats and by lighting up fireworks– all of which add to the festive mood. The Uttarpuja ritual is then performed which is about bidding farewell to Ganesha with deep respect. This is followed by Ganpati Visarjan, a ceremony wherein the statue is now immersed in water. While carrying the statue to the sea and while immersing it, people generally chant in the Marathi language ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya’ which means ‘Goodbye Lord, please come back next year’. While some devotees celebrate this festival at home, others pay their visit to Lord Ganesha at public pandals. People offer their due respect, prayers and offerings to Ganesha. Dishes like Lord Ganesha’s favourite Modak, Pooran Poli, and Karanji are prepared for friends, family and visitors.
Janmashtami is the day Bal Krishna is worshipped or Krishna in his infant form is worshipped. A naughty baby who would exasperate his mother no end, Krishna has been a charmer since childhood and known to win the hearts of everyone he meets. A statue of baby Krishna is placed in a swing decorated with flowers and soft pillows with richly decorated cushions and women folk sing to him, offer him sweets and pray to him on this day. The festival is celebrated with much pomp and splendour all over India and crowds of people throng Krishna temples to worship the dark Lord.
Krishna is said to have been born 5200 years ago and he is the most popular and also the most powerful incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is said to have been born to free the Earth from all evil. Cursed that he could never be a king, Krishna is responsible for the making of kings and their empires. His ready-wit, his cunning and at times even his manipulation is a lesson of learning for people. Dark as the night, Krishna (Krsna) is named so as his name means ‘dark’. His discourse with Arjuna, the third Pandava just before the war of Mahabharata gave the Hindus one of their most sacred texts, the Bhagvad Gita. Dressed in a yellow loin-cloth, with a flute to his lips, standing with one leg crossed over the other at the ankles, Lord Krishna is compassionate, all-knowing and the embodiment of Dharma or righteousness.
While the Lord wears many ornaments, his constant accessory is a peacock feather in his hair. Have you ever wondered why Lord Krishna wears a peacock feather? Does the feather have some deeper meaning or significance? And why only a peacock feather? Why not any other feather or some ornament? There have been many tales surrounding the reason Lord Krishna wears a peacock feather. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. A symbol of purity
Lord Krishna had mainly 8 wives known as the Ashtabharya and had 16,000 junior wives with whom, he did not share any marital relations. Also, Krishna is known to be the Askalitha Brahmacharya, one who is eternally a Brahmacharya as despite being married his aim was never any sensual pleasures and only the betterment of the world. Thus, Krishna is considered to be completely pure and free from any sensual desire. Peacocks in India are considered to be a symbol of purity. There is a mythological belief (albeit false) that peacocks do not use sex for reproduction but rather, the peahen drinks the tears of the peacock to conceive. Thus, Krishna is as pure as a peacock and that is what the feather signifies.
2. The colour of nature
A peacock feather is said to have all the 7 colours of nature and it appears bluish in the day and black at night. Ether, which covers all of us also appears blue by daytime and black by night. Lord Krishna, also called the dark skinned one is represented by both these colours. Thus, Krishna wears the peacock which symbolises the entire range of colours humans are made of and that each one of us a part of the almighty. As God, he is formless but to mortals, he appears Blue by day and Black by night, making him just like a peacock feather.
3. His love for dance
There’s a story that says that once, Lord Krishna decided to play the flue in the forest. So melodious was his music that the peacocks were enamoured and began to dance with him. All beings of the forest were completely spell bound. The peacocks danced till they grew tired but Lord Krishna went on dancing for days. Finally, when he stopped dancing, the spell was broken. But the peacocks were so full of happiness and gratitude that the king of peacocks went up to Lord Krishna and as gratitude, asked him to accept him feathers as they were his most prized possession. He dropped some feathers on the ground and Lord Krishna accepted his humble offering. Since then, Lord Krishna always wears a peacock feather in his hair.
4. The rain God
Peacocks love rain and dance during the monsoons. The sight of a sky completely covered by dark clouds is enjoyed by them and makes them happy. Similarly, Krishna being dark-skinned resembles the dark, rain-heavy clouds. When the peacocks see Lord Krishna, he reminds them of rain and thus, makes them very happy. Also, his music coupled with his dark skin helps them dance better. thus as gratitude, they offer him their feathers which he happily accepts and places in his hair.
While these are some of the most popular concepts, there is also the concept of Maya or Illusion that is promoted. According to a Quora user, this is why Krishna wears a peacock feather in his hair:
“The main teaching of Lord Krishna is that our whole life and the whole manifested universe is His ‘Maya’. He continuously tells His great disciple Arjuna to realize His presence underlying seemingly unrelated events and various living organisms populating the universe.
Even though Lord Krishna also manifested inside His own ‘Maya’, He was never controlled or disturbed by its powers.
The feathers of peacock exemplify Lord’s Maya in a manner which human mind can try to grasp. The brilliant colors of peacock do not arise from the correspondingly colored pigments. Instead, they arise from the phenomenon called ‘structural coloration’. The light waves entering the different thickness of keratin layers on peacock feathers get out of phase and undergo interference. The resulting light wave patterns give the beautiful play of colors which the human eyes see. The ‘actual’ color is just deep brown pigment which occurs in the background of these keratin layers.
Thus, Lord Krishna wears a brilliant example of His own Maya in His crown and stimulates our intelligence to understand the fact that the whole universe is a diverse manifestation of one single divinity. Thus, we are also supposed to understand the nature of Maya continuously during our life so that we do not get carried away and suffer due to its influence. If we also start wearing this idea in our mind, like Krishna wears its symbolically in His crown, then we can also enjoy this life in the manner Lord Krishna wants us to live.
However, only the divine being Himself can fully know His intentions.”
Creative Nails is designing customised Press-On Nails too! Recently one of our Gujrati client asked to design an artificial nail set with Dasha Mata/Momai Maa and Lord Ganesha for the 10 day celebration of Dasha Mata Puja festival. Till then I never knew about Dasha Mata. This Vrat is usually done by Gujrati’s in India.
Dasha Mata is a form of feminine power. Mounted on a camel, this form of the Mother Goddess is depicted with four hands. She holds a sword and a trident in the upper right and left hand, respectively. And in the lower right and left hands, she has a lotus and armour.
How is Dasha Mata vrat observed?
Women put ten knots to a cotton thread. Then they walk around the Peepal Tree ten times while twirling the sacred cotton thread on its trunk. They also read the Katha of King Nala and his Queen, Damayanti.
By observing a fast on this day, married women pray for the wellbeing of their family. And by doing so, they seek the blessings of the Gods and Goddesses for improving the planetary positions in their natal charts. The fast, once observed, must be continued for a lifetime. Sketches of the house are made on either side of the main door with Haldi and Kumkum. Thus, women pray to the Gods and the Goddesses for guarding their home against evil and negativities.
On this day, a vrati may consume only one kind of grain. Most women opt for wheat, but consumption of salt is prohibited. Moreover, people do not lend money or buy new objects on this day. Thus, by following these protocols, a vrati worships for the well-being of her family.
People especially women who celebrate nine nights festivals of Nav Durga follow the particular color of the day. This tradition is very popular among states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Keeping fast and wearing clothes according to Navratri color of the day is considered very sacred in Hindu religion. Women follow this tradition widely and adorn themselves with similar color clothes and accessories during Navratri.
Navratri day 1: color : Grey
Significance: The colour Grey signifies the power to curb evil and spread the joy of goodness. On this day of Pratipada, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Shailputri, the daughter of Himalaya. She carries a Trishul or trident as the symbol of victory of good over evil.
Nail polish: BornPretty Shadow grey BP-QC02 is a peel off nail polish.
Creamy texture and opaque in one coat. But two coats are recommended for perfect finish. Easy application and easy peel off.
Navratri day 2: color : Orange
Significance: The colour Orange signifies the aura and brightness of peace, knowledge and resplendence. Orange is also the colour of the attire that we associate with the Brahmacharini avatar of Goddess Durga, as she is worshipped on Dwitiya.
Nail polish: Nail Trend N/E – G04
Those who are looking for local nail polish with affordable price and great quality must try this brand. Comes in a tiny 5ml bottle at just Rs. 20/- What more needed!!
Navratri day 3: color : White
Significance: The colour White is the symbol of peace, harmony, purity and calmness. On this day of Tritiya, Durga is worshipped in the form of Chandraghanta Devi or Chandi or Chamundi Devi in her utmost malevolent form.
Nail polish: Prosper
This nail polish I had bought during my visit to Vietnam. And I repent for not buying more bottles!! This is the best white nail polish I have ever used. There are good white polishes in different brands but for the price I paid this is a treat! Applying this creamy white polish with the long good brush of the bottle cap is so satisfying…
Navratri day 4: color : Red
Significance: The colour Red symbolises anger, auspiciousness, love, joy and a range of strong emotions and passions. It is the colour of fire and blood and the feelings associated with the energy of the primal forces. On this day of Chaturthi, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Kushmanda, who is believed to have created the world with her divine smile.
Nail polish: Essence the gel nail polish – 17 juicy love
One more favourite polish of mine!! This brand has thick flat bristles which covers wide area of the nail plate. As the the name suggests it gives gel polish like finish. High gloss and durable nail polish with wide range of shades to choose from. Note that these are not UV gel polishes and does not require UV lamp to dry.
Navratri day 5: color : Royal Blue
Significance: The colour Royal Blue signifies divine energy. The colour emanates the feelings of richness, sophistication, superiority, faith, trust and loyalty. On this day of Panchami, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Skanda Mata, mounted on a ferocious lion and She carries Lord Skanda in his infant form.
Nail polish: El Corazon no. 423/623 Tsunami
El corazon is my all time favourite brand and this shade gives a royal look to your Navratri avatar! This brand has its own unique formula of nail polishes which prevents nails from staining as well as improves nail quality. Maybe I will pit up one more post with its special base coats for healthier nails.
Navratri day 6: color : Yellow
Significance: The colour Yellow signifies the happiness and optimism of enlightenment. This mellowed shade seems to be the fountain of creativity, sunshine and spring. Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Katyayani on Shashti, the valiant slayer of the legendary demon Mahishasura, the supreme incarnation of evil.
Nail Polish: Faces Canada Splash – Sunny side up 51
This is a pretty shade of yellow. Requires 3-4 thin coats to be perfectly opaque and gives you a creamy finish. When I had purchased it was Rs. 109/- for 8ml bottle. Decent pricing with great quality. Must have at least few shades in your collection.
Navratri day 7: color : Green
Significance: The colour Green symbolizes the vigour and freshness of nature, the sense of nurturing, tranquillity, good fortune, health and rejuvenation. This colour has the mighty power to sooth and engenders calmness of mind. Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Kalaratri on Saptami, which is the fiercest form of all the nine forms of Durga.
Nail polish: CP trendies – crazy for neons – Shocking green B902
This nail polish set was gifted to me by my close friend. As per her its one among the affordable polishes available in Dubai. They are 11ml round bottles with thin bristles. Loved the quality and shades but I wish they had little more thicker bristles. I felt after drying they give slightly matte finish but they are not matte polishes. So a top coat is must if you are looking for a high glossy look. But overall I don’t mind investing in few more polishes of this brand.
Navratri day 8: color : Peacock green
Significance: The colour Peacock Green is significant as it indicates that the wishes and prayers of mortals shall be answered by the Goddess. Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Gauri on this day of Ashtami, as people revere her as the Goddess of fertility.
Nail polish: Kaleidoscope Lakomania LM -05
Kaleidoscope is by El corazon brand itself. So there is no need to doubt about the quality. Lakomaniac series of polishes are color changing polishes/chameleon polishes. They reflect different shades with different lighting.
Navratri day 9: color : Purple
Significance: The colour Purple signifies creativity, dignity, spirituality, royalty, magic and miracle. On this day of Navami, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Siddhidatri, the one who possesses the supernatural powers, also known as the siddhis, that are listed as Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakambya, Ishitva and Vashitva.
Nail polish: El corazon Confetti 529a
Another gorgeous collection of confetties by El corazon. Firstly I love these flat bottles of their collection. It looks royal! I am not a hard core glitter fan but these confetti polishes stole my heart! They look grainy textured but believe me its as smooth as other polishes. But for high glossy look you need a good top coat.
This year I did a Ganesh nail art collaboration with a talented Russian freehand nail artist Tanya @ultranail (Instagram handle). Below is the collage with inspiration picture we had taken from Google.
Ganesh Chaturthi Nail Art – 2019
Really enjoyed doing this collaboration with Tanya.
Ganesh Chaturthi Nail Art – 2019
I painted the entire art on fake nails with Bluesky gel polish. This is the first time I have used gel polishes to paint complete image and I am really happy with the outcome ☺️