Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chavithi, is an auspicious Hindu festival celebrated for 10 days every year. It marks the birthday of the beloved elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, known as the God of wealth, sciences, knowledge, wisdom and prosperity. Sanskriti Cyprus organises one of the biggest Indian celebrations on the island and this September, the fourth edition of the Indian Cultural Fest is on.
Taking place at the Limassol Municipal Gardens on September 30, a large, colourful celebration will bring communities together. Traditional Indian performances with local instruments and costumes, dance shows, speeches and prayers to Lord Ganesha will take place in the garden’s amphitheatre. The cultural programme will begin at 7pm and audiences are advised to arrive 30 minutes in advance to take their seats.
Although a one-day occasion in Cyprus, in India this is a festival that lasts for more than a week. “The festival begins with the installation of huge elaborately crafted idols of Ganesha in homes and podiums, which have been specially constructed and beautifully decorated,” says Sanskriti Cyprus. “The 10-day celebrations include worshipping the lord, singing, dancing to drum beats and lighting up fireworks – all of which add to the festive mood.
“After the festival, the idols are carried to local rivers in huge processions accompanied by drumbeats, devotional singing, and dancing. There they are immersed, a ritual symbolising Ganesha’s homeward journey to Mount Kailash – the abode of his parents, Shiva and Parvati.”
Indian Cultural Festival
Celebrating Lord Ganesh. September 30. Limassol Municipal Gardens, Limassol. 7pm. www.sanskriticyprus.com