After two years went by without the annual 11-day festival due to the covid-19 pandemic, Ganesh Chaturthi is making an official return worth remembering. Today is the day!
The gorgeous Ganesha tapestry above sits next to the open entrance of our bedroom (with the still so super sweet Valentine's Day gift from last year on the door). This was one of the first gifts Justin got for me during the year we started dating - 2019. I remember vividly...
One weekend we whimsically spent a sunny afternoon in downtown Ann Arbor doing the things we did pre-pandemic. After lunch with lots of soju (Korea's national alcohol) at our trusty go-to, Tomukun, we'd shop around in a happy haze of love and full-bellied delight.
We weren't living together yet, so the Ganesha tapestry above first lived on my bedroom wall in the house I was renting on the north side of Ann Arbor (near Plum Market!) with three other working professionals also in their late 20s - Ashwini, Shonte and Natalie.
That summer, I moved in with Justin. We would soon move again to where we are now in a cozy, spacious two-bed, two-bath with a fireplace in November (2019). We still had no clue what was about to begin in early 2020 when the whole world was sent home to quarantine. City, state, even entire countrywide lockdowns began to litter every single news station.
Justin and I recently enjoyed a similar Ann Arbor adventure day a couple months back for the first time since the pandemic shutdown in early 2020. We fully enjoyed every magical moment - simultaneously new and nostalgic. Not quite the same as before 2020 - yet in many ways, refreshingly... different. This difference is good! It feels better.
I love the incredibly celebratory energy happening all over India with this first return of Ganesh Chaturthi today. Every bit of news I've gathered thus far has been poured with positivity. This alone is a miracle, isn't it? Positive news. Wholly. Holy.
I especially love this note from the linked news bit above:
"Celebrations for Ganesh Chaturthi for the next 10 days have begun with great zeal and joy. The preparations for the grand celebration have been in full swing."
Here is another clip beaming with great zeal and joy:
It only makes sense how 11 years ago, I was working for DesiHits in the heart of Times Square, New York City. This particular blog post from that time had me near tears today. Gratitude beyond belief for every memory made manifest.
For all who are interested in learning more about celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, here are a few quick facts to encourage further exploration:
Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is an important Hindu festival celebrated throughout India with great devotion. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesh is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
The Ganesh Chaturthi, 11-day festival, celebrates Ganesha as the God of New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles, as well as the god of wisdom and intelligence.
Mahaloha & Namaste!