What is Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi is the Indian festival celebrating the rebirth of our elephant headed God, Lord Ganesh.
The festival takes place during what is traditionally called the month of Bhadra (that is roughly from the middle of August to the middle of September). Ganpati is worshipped as he is believed to be the god of prosperity and good luck.
For the Ganpati festival, idols are especially created, and set up in temples, homes and public places, where believers worship them. At the end of the worshipping-period, the idols are submerged into water bodies, like lakes, rivers, the sea etc.
The festival and the environment: why clay Ganesh making is important
A long time ago, people celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in a natural way. The idols of Lord Ganesha were made with clay found near people’s homes, and the colours used on the idols were derived from natural pigments, too. When these idols were submerged in water, they dissolved slowly and did not affect the environment adversely.
Unfortunately, all of this has changed now, and not for the better. Idols are now made out of Plaster of Paris, and coloured using chemical dyes. Resultantly, these idols pollute the water bodies they are put into.
So, while Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with a lot of zeal, the people who celebrate it, consciously or unconsciously, harm the natural balance. Not only does water get dirty, a lot of living beings are harmed, too. Aquatic creatures fall prey to the dirty water, and the chemicals in the water even find their way to plants and trees.
As you can imagine, the water can also be bad for human beings – that’s why it’s so important to learn how to make clay Ganesh idols.
You can make a difference!
The good news is, it is not difficult at all to put things right without abandoning idols altogether – after all, what is Ganesh Chaturthi without the immersion of Lord Ganesha? – and children can take the first step.
They are the future and it is absolutely critical that they understand the importance of natural balance. The materials that were used to make eco-friendly Ganesha idols are still found in abundance, if anyone cares to look for them.
This year, why not create your own environment-friendly idol? Not only will you be living greener, but working with clay is also a lot of fun! Here is all you need to know on how to make clay Ganesh idols:
The basic supplies and the technique for clay Ganesh making
If you can locate a potters’ colony in your city, you will be able to buy inexpensive clay for making your idol. This clay is just fine mud mixed with water. Another option could be buying natural mud from stores, and then mixing it with water. Your kid would love to do the mixing for sure! For giving shape to the idol and making marks in it, help your kiddo with some simple tools like some ice-cream sticks or even some twigs.
For colouring your idol, you can use some ground flowers or natural pigments that can be obtained from stores selling organic products. As far as making the idol is concerned, you can check out our article on how to make eco-friendly Ganesha idols here.
You will also be able to find tutorials online, or you can encourage your children to experiment on their own and be as creative as they like.
Allow them to express themselves as they like, because working with clay is supposed to be a relaxing and fun activity for kids. Though it can be messy, Surf excel is always there to help you get rid of the stains!
Get rewarded for your efforts
We have something special lined up for your kids this festive season! Win exciting prizes and enhance your kids creativity with our Eco Ganesha contest.
Simply create an eco-friendly Ganesha idol with your kid and let them decorate it in any way they like, and make it as beautiful as they want. Once this is done, share photographs of their creations with us.
The best entries will receive exciting gift hampers from Surf excel!
Did you like our eco-friendly clay Ganesha tips? COMMENT to let us know your views.