Subdued celebrations for Ganesh Chaturthi this year

Subdued celebrations for Ganesh Chaturthi this year

Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most loved festivals in Maharashtra. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are a lot of restrictions put in place in regards to how to celebrate and even on how to do the visarjan. 

While people are in high spirits to welcome the Viganharta (God that destroys all obstacles) the celebrations are a little subdued this year. There were videos of people flocking the Dadar flower market that went viral on Friday, August 20. There is a huge demand for flowers all through this festival as people use it to decorate their house and they are also shared as an offering during the festivities. This year it has been the marigold flowers that seems to be the most in-demand. 

Due to the high demand, the price of marigold flowers has gone up. Last year, these flowers were sold at ₹120 per kg. However, this year, the rate has gone up to ₹300 per kg. This has happened partially because of the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, which has impacted the supply of these flowers. 

However, apart from the flowers, all the other markets are running dry. The demand for sweets including modaks and clothes have seen a dip. There is usually a huge rush in the cloth market during this festival as people buy new clothes, cloth curtains, decorative items for homes and public mandals. However, this year shopkeepers have suffered huge financial losses as celebrations have become low-key. Due to lack of demand, last year’s goods have also not been sold.

As per the directives issued by the civic authorities processions should not be taken out before installing and immersing the idols of the deity, hence all the colour, music and buzz is missing. Along with that, the usual pandal decorations that were seen at almost every nook and corner are missing this season. Even large pandals that were known to celebrate this festival have cancelled celebrations and are organising awareness camps and blood/plasma donation drives this year. However, most of them have a live feed that allows people to have darshan of Lord Ganesh from the comfort of their homes. You can see the live feed for Ganesh Galli - Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, GSB Seva Mandal and Siddhivinayak Mandir here

The security around the city has been beefed up to ensure that all norms are followed.  Apart from the local police, a company of Rapid Action Force (RAF), three companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), local arms and riot control police have been deployed in Mumbai for this year's celebrations. 

It has been constantly raining in Mumbai and that has also played spoilt support for a lot of people. Many who wanted to go out to get the idol of their choice or sweets for the home could not head out due to the non-stop rain. 

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