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With the expansion of the internet, our world is getting smaller. What I mean is, we are exposed to more of the world’s cultures now than ever before. Growing up in a small town in northern New Jersey, I was not knowledgeable about holiday and family traditions in cultures other than my own. However, now with a quick Google search, I can learn about Ganesha Chaturthi, Kwanza, Chinese New Year, Yom Kippur and Día de los Muertos. I can even gain an understanding of how some holidays that are familiar to me are celebrated differently around the world.
Let’s start with Ganesha Chaturthi today. This ten-day festival celebrates the birthday of Ganesha (also known as Ganapati). Ganesha is considered one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. Represented by a statue with an elephant head, Ganesha is the god of good beginnings, prosperity and is considered to be an obstacle remover. This deity is celebrated across Hinduism and Buddhism in many countries including India, Canada, Mauritius, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Burma, US, UK and Fiji. The common sweet dish served is modak, which is a rice or wheat dumpling stuffed with coconut and dried fruits. Ganesh Chaturthi and Ganpati decorations and tablecloths are brightly colored, often trimmed with metallic accents and very celebratory in nature. Preparations for this holiday start months in advance. In 2017, this holiday begins on August 25. Happy Ganesha Chatruthi to all!
Check back here for more blogs exploring table linens for cultural celebrations around the world.