Ganesh Chaturthi is almost here! We are sure you have already started planning your celebrations stretched out over a period of ten days, with family, friends, food, sweets, music, prayers and gifts. While it truly is a wonderful time to revel in the festivities, one plaguing aspect of the festival cannot be ignored the much-revered idol that ends up polluting our environment. Toxic waste, chemicals, Plaster of Paris (POP) idols and non-biodegradable adornments that are discarded in the oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and even tiny canals this is a common sight after the conclusion of Ganesh Utsav. A festival that celebrates morals, virtuousness, prosperity, and righteousness often leads to destroying Mother Nature in irreparable ways. Why not consider an eco-friendly idol that satisfies your needs and does not disturb the ecological equilibrium? Here is Senioritys selection of DIY Ganpati idol making and decoration ideas!
Eco-friendly Ganpati idol making ideas you can try at home:
Take a chunk of clay and mix it with water to create a dough. Split the dough into four parts. Use one part to make a flat base. Insert two toothpicks into the base and use another part of the dough to form the body make sure the belly part is nice and round. Take small portions of the dough to make the legs and attach them to the body. You can then make embellishments using smaller portions of clay and use a toothpick to carve out intricate designs on them. Roll a few more small portions of clay to create the hands, using the toothpick to design the palm, fingers, and thumb. Place a tiny ball of clay on the left palm (the laddu). Next comes the head plant a toothpick in the center of the body (from the top) and then use another part of the clay that will become the head. Design the trunk in a spiral structure and attach it to the head make sure it blends with the head. Flatten out two portions of the remaining clay to form the ears and use some additional clay to secure them to the head. Use tiny pieces to form the tusks on either side of the trunk. You can use any remaining portions of the clay to add stability to the structure or for designing some tiny pieces of jewelry. Your idol is now ready! Add some non-toxic colorto the idol if you like (once the clay dries out a bit). You can also use play dough and make the idol making a family activity to mark the beginning of this holy festival!
Who wouldve thought of a Ganesha idol that is made from chocolate? Rintu Kalyani Rathod, a commercial designer-turned-baker, crafted an innovative idol made out of chocolateback in 2014. She had experimented with an idol made from sugar in 2011 and has never looked back since then. The best part about this chocolate idol is that it is immersed in milk at the end of the festival, which then turns into delectable chocolate milk! If you have a way with baking, you could try it out at home this Ganesh Utsav.
3.Soil, fertilizers and seeds
Plant-a-Ganesha became quite a rage a few years back. Made using red soil, fertilizers,andtulsi or ladyfinger seeds, this idol is watered (instead of immersing it) at the end of the 10-day festival, so that it dissolves in the soil beneath. This eventually leads to a nice little plant being born! If you arent too particular about the visarjan bit and dont mind experimenting with a soil-based idol for a good cause, go right ahead and get home some red soil. While it might not be as easy as making an idol from clay, a little bit of patience and innovation will get you there slowly but surely. If you love gardening, there is no better way to celebrate this lovely festival than planting a Ganesha idol that transforms into a tree!
Although this is not an idol, it is one of our favorites! It is also perhaps the easiest to make. Simply collect various sizes of betel leaves from the local paanshop and a few other leaves from the garden. You can arrange the leaves in a way that they form the shape of Ganesha and once you are satisfied with the arrangement, use glue to paste them on a contrasting sheet of paper. If your creativity runs wild, you could do a lot more to make it visually appealing! Once the festival is over, you can choose to retain this work of art and hang it on a wall or simply take the leaves out and immerse them in a natural water body. There are several other DIY ideas when it comes to crafting a Ganpati idol using eco-friendlymaterials. From veggies to lentils to cow dung artists around India are experimenting with various biodegradable or recyclable materials and non-toxic,eco-friendly colors for Ganpati decoration. Take your pick and get going!
Wish you all a very happy Ganesh Utsav! Let us know your experience with the idol-making experiment this festive season in the comments below.
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