The Andhra Pradesh State Government has issued guidelines for the Vinayaka Chavithi, the annual Lord Ganesh festival, celebrations in Vizag and other cities this year. The eleven-day festival begins on 10 September 2021. Devotees, and other people celebrating the festival, are instructed to keep their celebrations private, and in their homes, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no public celebrations of Vinayaka Chavithi for the second year in a row. On 1 September 2021, Visakhapatnam City Commissioner of Police, Manish Kumar Sinha IPS, conveyed that Lord Ganesh pandals should not be set up in public places as it would garner crowds. He further added that no permission would be given to celebrate Vinayaka Chavithi outdoors in view of the Covid-19 safety measures.
The Police Commissioner added that the citizens of Vizag can carry out the Vinayaka Chavithi celebrations by erecting idols in the comforts of their homes, and keeping it as a strictly private affair and not a public one. He further elucidated that no permission would be given for processions and immersions of the idols in water bodies. The use of loudspeakers, or any other form of public entertainment, is strictly banned. People are advised to follow strict social distancing norms and wear a double mask when venturing out to markets to buy essentials for the celebrations.
The state of Tamil Nadu has also imposed the same kind of restrictions on the citizens garnering protests from pottery workers who were against the decision. The restrictions were imposed in the wake of the spread of the virus during the Bakra Eid and Onam festival in Kerala.
Celebrating Vinayaka Chavithi safely at your homes this year, you can cook these traditional Indian recipes for your loved ones.