The Vinayagar Sathurthi festival is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu God, with great traditional pomp and fervour at the Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple recently in Jalan Berhala of Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
The temple received more than 10,000 worshipers who came to pay their respects and homage to Lord Ganesha on his birthday celebration and culminated in the evening with a grand chariot procession along the main roads in Brickfields.
Temple president S.K.K. Naidu who was in the procession said: “The crowd gets bigger and bigger each year but this year’s crowd was really momentous. Here in the “Little India” section of Jalan Tun Sambanthan, there are close to seven thousand Hindu devotees, including people of other faiths and foreign tourists gathered for the festive celebration.”
“This is a religious festival, the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Handicapped people, people who cannot walk and those who can’t go to the temple and for this reason, the deity is taken round the Brickfield’s area for the chariot procession. This is an alternative blessing for the God is coming to the area to greet them,” explained Naidu.
A devotee, Nithyanantham, 40, a business partner in Nexperts Academy dealing with IT system integration said: “No obstacles can come in the way of one who prays to Lord Ganesha because he clears all the obstacles and creates a good path for you.”
“We worship Ganesha because he brings good luck and goodness,” added Nithyanantham who came with his wife and two children to pay homage to the deity and to pray for good health and prosperity of the family.
The statue of Lord Ganesha was decorated beautifully and ceremoniously given a grand send-off in the temple by temple officials for the chariot procession.
Lord Ganesha was seated on the chariot and was pulled by the devotees with the help of thick ropes tied to the chariot and followed behind by throngs of devotees amid the rhythmic beats of traditional Indian musical instruments and exquisite classical Indian dances by colourfully attired dancers.
Devotees also smashed thousands of coconuts in offering on the streets to cleanse the path before the chariot passes.
On both sides of the streets, thousands of devotees gathered to catch a glimpse of the sacred idol of Lord Ganesha and offered prayers. As the chariot pulled up, devotees offered trays of offerings of flowers, betel-leaves, fruits and coconuts to the deity for blessings.
In the streets of Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad and Jalan Tun Sambanthan in “Little India”, firecrackers were set off and fireworks erupted when the chariot carrying Lord Ganesha arrived. The continuous loud bangs and colourful flashes above the night sky added to the festive atmosphere of the joyous celebration. The people, including food businesses operating along the streets distributed free food and drinks to the public.
The procession which took about five hours to travel began at 7.30 pm from the temple at Jalan Berhala and passed through several streets in Brickfields, including Jalan Tebing, Jalan Scott, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Jalan Thambypillai, and the popular tourists attraction of “Little India” in Jalan Tun Sambanthan before it finally headed back to the temple by which time it was way past midnight.
The festival of Vinayagar Sathurthi falls on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, which usually falls between mid-August to mid-September and is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of elephant-headed Ganesha and is worshipped as the God of good fortune, prosperity and remover of obstacles.