Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi – the first day of a ten (or so) day festival celebrating the birthday of Ganesh. In India this is a huge festival! Many people make murtis (statues) of Ganesh out of clay and then submerge and dissolve them in local rivers.
There is no Hindu community in my town with which to celebrate, and I have no interest in crafting a statue (maybe next year?), so my household celebrated by basically having a bit of a birthday party for Ganesh.
I set up the altar on the dining table. We placed all of our Ganesha murtis (all four) on the cloth. There is a candle, lots of flowers, a singing bowl, sandalwood incense, a plate with chocolates (one for each of the family members), and a big bowl of sweet rice ‘pudding.’ I performed a puja for the whole family, and then we sat down to dinner. After we had eaten dinner at the table, we cleared away the dishes, sang happy birthday to Ganesh, and dished up the rice.I left the altar up during the night. It was so pretty.
May the blessings of Ganesh – wisdom, truth, the removal of all obstacles, and the abundance of all good things – be with you and yours!