Temple Fashions: Dressing for the Gods

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Dressed to dance for Ganesha

Dressed to dance for Ganesha – Photo: Lavina Melwani

 

Temple Fashions – Dressing for the Gods

You’ve heard of Versace, St. Laurent and Prada – now here comes Temple Fashion! If you can dress for social events, then why not for God? When it’s Ganesh Chathurthi, the nine-day festival dedicated to that most beloved of Gods, Ganesha, people go all out to look their best. They buy special dresses, bring out their jewels and decorate their hair with jasmine flowers. In India it’s easy enough to do that, but here in New York, Ganesha devotees pull out all the stops and go the whole nine yards.

Crowning Glory at the Ganesha Festival

Crowning Glory – Photo: Lavina Melwani

The kids are excited – it’s like one big giant block party at the Hindu Temple Society where the silver idol of the temple deity, Lord Ganesha, bathed and decorated with flowers, incense and jewels, is taken in the chariot for a festive procession around the streets of Flushing. Devotees pull the chariot with ropes and there’s joyous dancing, music and joy. It’s Ganesha’s birthday – and everyone is invited! There are thousands of packaged meals and rose milk for everyone – and the kids look forward to the laddoos, one of Ganesha’s favorites (along with modaks). On the streets thousands of packages of snacks and mango drinks are passed out to the huge crowds that gather to witness the Rath Yatra.

Friends at Ganesha's festival: Sonia Lalvani, Renee Mehraa, Lavina Melwani and Sakhrani

Friends at Ganesha’s festival: Sonia Lalvani, Renee Mehraa, Lavina Melwani and Aarti Sakhrani

In honor of Ganesha I wore a new embroidered outfit from India and decided to take pictures of all the young devotees who had come dressed in multicolored silk outfits for this special occasion. Every little girl wore gold jewelry and glittering hair ornaments. The boys, especially the littlest ones, looked adorable in their kurtas and dhotis. The women wore rich silk sarees and some of the men, dressed in dhotis and silken shirts quite stole the fashion runway! Talk of fashion statements!

Young students in Bharata Natyam costumes practiced on the streets and performed right on the road as Ganesha’s chariot approached. The drummers drummed, the dancers danced and the devotees crowded around for blessings.

Here is a photo gallery of glimpses of the biggest birthday bash and the happy party-goers, dressed to impress the Gods.

Temple Fashions to Celebrate Ganesha on the Runway of Life

Three siblings at Ganesha's Festival

Three siblings at Ganesha’s Festival – Photo: Lavina Melwani

 

Ganesha's birthday treat

Ganesha’s birthday treat Photo: Lavina Melwani

Pinks and orange silks for the celebration

Pinks and orange silks for the celebration of Ganesha – Photo: Lavina Melwani

Happiness is mom's hand at the Ganesha Festival

Happiness is holding mom’s hand at the Ganesha Festival – Photo: Lavina Melwani

A couple from Sri Lanka celebrating baby's first visit to the Ganesha Festival

A couple from Sri Lanka celebrating baby’s first visit to the Ganesha Festival Photo: Lavina Melwani

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About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

2 Comments

  1. Sonia Lalwani via Facebook on

    Sonia Lalwani via Facebook

    Nice article…. very nice picture of our Media Group😀👍

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