How to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home:
Vinayaka chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi 2018 is on 13 September, Thursday.
After Gokulashtami celebration, it’s now time for Ganesh Chaturthi festival. I wanted to post How to celebrate Vinayagar chaturthi at home too. This is just the tradition followed at my home. So take this as a guidance and consult with the elders at your home to include your tradition. Both at my parent’s home and at my in-laws home, they celebrate the same way. At my parents home, my dad does the abishekam to vinayagar idol, while at my in-laws place, my Mom in law does it these days. I still remember my childhood days that we used to enjoy during the festival. My dad and brother at times used to make our own Ganesh Idol at home with the clay from our own backyard. More than food, those days, I used to enjoy the process and the festive mood that used to be there at home. These days, food has become the main part and is my big task to make kozhukattai and vada payasam sapadu. I leave pooja part to Vj. So I just want to write how we celebrate vinayagar sathurthi. If you are newly married and looking for the procedure, you can use this as guidance and again please make sure to consult your elders and change it accordingly.
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Things to prepare for, the before day itself.
Soak channa (kondakadalai) the before night itself for sundal. (Check below for recipe link)
Also you can prepare sweet pooranam and ellu pooranam before day. (Check below for recipe link)
Decide the menu the before day itself and plan what you are going to do. This will make a lot of difference and make your work easier.
For lunch, you can either make full meals with vadai payasam, or also do mixed rice varieties along with vadai and sakkarai pongal. Refer this post for making variety rice lunch.
On Vinayagar sathurthi day, after head bath, soak rice for maakolam. If you are using homemade rice flour, soak rice for that too. You can also use store bought rice flour or idiyappam flour (the flour should be very fine for soft and moist mothagam/ kozhukattai layer).
Soak Urad dal to make ulundu pooranam for ulundhu poorana kozhukattai and for vadai.
Grind and draw maakolam.
- Chana (konada kadalai for sundal)
- Toor dal (thuvaram paruppu for sambar and rasam)
- Moong dal (payatham paruppu for paruppu and kootu)
- Rice and dal for payasam (Arisi paruppu payasam) – You can make any payasam, but we make only this payasam.
You can prepare the dough for kozhukattai and keep it covered until making kozhukattai. Refer here to see how to make homemade rice flour.
Finish the chopping works side by side. Things to prepare for full meals (no onion no garlic)
- Sweet pachadi – Can be made with mango or ladies finger or banana stem or yellow pumkin
- Thayir pachadi – Can be made with Gooseberry or small vadai or ladies finger or even coconut green chilli
- Kootu – Avarakkai (broad beans) or parangikkai (Yellow pumpkin) or kothavarangai (cluster beans)
- Poriyal – Vazhai kai (Raw banana) or avarakkai (broad beans)
- Sambar – vendaikai (Ladies finger) or avarakkai (broad beans) or kothavarangai (cluster beans) or parangikkai (Yellow pumpkin)
- Cook Raw rice (pacharisi)
You can temper for paruppu, pachadis, sambar, rasam, sundal, poriyal in order. Make payasam side by side.
After finishing cooking work, make ulundhu pooranam and make 21 kozhukattais for offering God (including vellam pooranam, ulundu pooranam, ellu pooranam kozhukattai). Make vadai lastly.
How to do Abishekam for Vinayagar
After finishing cooking, you can ask elder in house or guy in your family to do abishekam to a clay pillayar you bought from shop or a pithalai idol if you have at home.
You need to keep the pillaiyar in peedam (a brass or wooden base) over a broad, pithalai (brass) plate preferably. You need to put a poonool and start doing abishekam.
This is how we do abishekam : Sesame oil, dhasangam, turmeric, flour, milk, lemon juice, orange juice, tender coconut water (ilaneer), curd, panchamrudham, honey, again milk, sandhanam (sandal paste), panneer, lastly viboodhi. Every time in between you need to add little water. Finish with water and use black beads to open eyes for the idol.
Put another poonool and a clean cloth for the idol. Decorate with erukkam poo malai, arugam pul malai and flower(sevvandhi or jasmine) garland.
Show agar bathies, break coconut and karpooram to God. Keep a silver coin in his belly button.
Transfer to the pooja place over another manai with kolam. Keep kudai (small umbrella) and proceed offerings.
Take note, all these abishekams should be done to moonjur also, that is, after doing each abishekam to Vinayagar, follow it for moonjur also.
How to offer/ serve food in thalai vazhai ilai
The broad side of the banana leaf (Thalai vazhai ilai) should be facing to the right hand side to God as shown in the below picture.
Upper side of the leaf (with respect to God), starting from broad side, start with sweet pachadi, thayir pachadi, kootu, poriyal, sundal, then vadai in middle, appalam, payasam lower side, then veggie in the sambar, rice, over rice – paruppu, ghee.
How to Arrange everything in front of God
Keep the Vinayagar idol/picture in the middle. Keep two lamps on both sides.
In a plate (silver or pithalai), keep vethalai paaku, fruits, coconut(1). In another plate or bowl, keep aval, kadalai, vellam in front of vinayagar(2).
Fruits may include his favourite naval pazham, vilampazham, guava, banana (full bunch), apple, saathukudi.
One thalai vazhai ilai with prepared food served in front of God(3).
Two small pieces of banana leaf (yaedu) in front of each lamp(5 & 6) and keep a couple of kozhukattais, vadai, payasam and sundal in these leaves.
Keep the kozhukattais in separate banana leaf (4). See below picture for better understanding.
First Do the regular pooja routine you do at home, then to the Vinayagar.
Evening you can make appam and offer Vinayagar. Next day morning fruits, afternoon rice and paruppu, evening also fruits or pacharisi puttu.
Next day morning betel leaves and nuts along with fruits and dissolve the idol in nearby water source – Sea/ river/ pond/ well or keep a big tub of water and slowly immerse the idol and pour the water to the flowering plants in your own backyard.
Shopping list/ Checklist
- Jaggery – For pooranams
- Cardamom – For pooranam and payasam
- Coconut – For pooja as well as cooking
- Raw rice – For rice and for rice flour and payasam
- Rice flour/ Idiyappam flour – For kozhukattai
- Sesame seeds – For ellu urundai and kozhukattai
- Urad dal – For vadai and ulundhu pooranam
- Chana – For sundal
- Moong dal – For dal (Paruppu) and payasam
- Toor dal – For sambar
- Black pepper – for vadai
- Fried gram dal (Pottukadalai)
- Cashew nuts
- Vegetables – Any one for each of the following
Mango, ladies finger or yellow pumpkin – For sweet pachadi
Gooseberry, ladies finger – For Thayir pachadi
Raw banana, yellow pumpkin,Cluster beans, broad beans – For poriyal
Raw banana, yellow pumpkin,Cluster beans , broad beans – For kootu
Cluster beans, broad beans, ladies finger,yellow pumpkin – For sambar
Green chilli, curry leaves
For pooja and Abishekam
- Betel leaves and nuts
Banana – Whole bunch
Naval Pazham (Jamun fruit)
- Flower- Jasmine, sevandhi poo
- Ganesh Idol
- Small decorative umbrella
- Vellai erukkam poo malai
- Arugam pul malai
- Sesame oil
- Tender coconut
- Sandal paste
Other recipes you can make during the festival
Disclaimer: This is a small effort made to keep myself everything a record as well as to help newly married. Each family/ community have their own tradition and way of doing things, I never claim this is the right way we should do. This is my understanding towards the festival we celebrate in our family.