Skip to main content

Gumbo's Pic of the Day, September 1, 2014: Ganesh Utsav Celebration, Trinidad and Tobago

For the average traveler, Hindu festival celebrations are usually associated with India only. But the reality is that they are also celebrated wherever there are pockets of Hindus around the world too. Trinidad & Tobago is no exception as the population is almost 40% Indian, of which at least half is Hindu.


Ganesh Utsav (or Ganesh Chaturthi) is currently being celebrated this time of year in the Hindu calendar. It is a festival in honour of the god Ganesha who is the elephant-headed remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom in Hinduism. He is worshipped for 10-12 days during which Hindu priests say discourses from the holy scriptures and worshippers take offerings of flowers, fruits, and Lord Ganesha's favourite sweets and pray to him.  It is believed that Ganesha bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival.



In Trinidad, my great grandfather, along with four other residents, initiated on his lands the worship of Lord Ganesha. This is the origin of Ganesh Utsav in Trinidad and Tobago. Today, after over 100 years, because of the foresight of these five individuals, Ganesh Utsav is now one of the largest Hindu observances that attract a vast majority of Trinbagonians. It's my favourite time to be back in Trinidad with the family and at the community temple.



Artistic clay/mud models of Lord Ganesha are made specifically for this festival by skilled artisans months in advance and vary in size from 3/4 of an inch to over 70 feet; whether for personal use at home or at a temple for public worship. The artisan close to my home, for example, makes over 20 very large ones for various temples in the area.


On the last day of the festival, after an all night celebration of singing and dancing by all worshippers paying tribute to Lord Ganesha, there would be a procession before sunrise to immerse the clay murti (model) of Lord Ganesha into the water - be it a lake, river or the sea. The immersion ritual is called Ganesh Visarjan. Complete with music, drums and fireworks, we go all out in the procession here in our little village from the temple to the lake and look forward to the celebrations next year to once again celebrate Lord Ganesha with much pomp and fanfare.










Images (9)
  • 20130915_161251
  • 20130915_162918
  • 20130919_041132
  • 20130919_043727
  • 20130919_043935
  • 20130919_045259
  • 20130919_050854
  • 20130919_052933-1
  • 20130919_053051

Add Comment

Comments (1)

Newest · Oldest · Popular
Link copied to your clipboard.