Panaji: Goans across the state have geared up to celebrate the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival as cities wore a deserted look while villages bustled with people returning home during holidays to attend the revelry.
The festival which is also popularly known as 'Chovoth', began today with devotees brining home the elephant-headed idol.
Townships like Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa almost wear a deserted look for five days with most commercial establishments shut and only food joints open.
"We wait for this time of the year where I can meet all my family members. With families becoming increasingly nuclear, this is the only time when you can meet siblings, relatives," Vishram Kavlekar, a residence of Kavlem village in Pondam said.
A chemical engineer by profession, Vishram shifted to Panaji in 2000 for job.
Like in Konkan and Maharashtra, celebrations in Goa too are purely traditional marked with 'aartis' performed twice a day.
Traditional musical instruments like 'shamel' and 'taso' take centre stage as families gather to sing Ganesh bhajans.
As many as 100-odd public Ganeshotsav mandals worship 'life size' idols at various places, especially bus stands, gardens, markets across the state.
The festivities also mark delicacies like sweets 'neuryos', 'modak' replacing Goa's staple fish curry and rice during the festival.
To meet extra rush in trains, Konkan Railway has introduced an additional train linking Mumbai to Goa.
Meanwhile, Goa Church greeted the Hindu brethren on the occasion.
"We rejoice while seeing our Hindu brothers and sisters celebrating the joyous festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. On behalf of the Catholic community in this territory of Goa and on my own behalf, I express my joy and wish them all the blessings on this happy occasion," Archbishop of Goa and Daman Rev Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao has said in a message released last evening.
"Healthy family ties make for healthy social and community ties, which are all the more important in our culture of globalisation, brought about chiefly by the modern means of communication," he said.