I have always had fond memories of celebrating Vinayaka Chathurthi as a child and I am glad the practice still continues jus' the same way. The preperation for the festival starts a day in advance. On the eve of Vinayaka Chaturthi we make a visit to the nearby vinayaka temple where they sell all the decorative items and the various items required for the pooja.
Right from selecting the colorful umbrella for lord Ganesha , the thoranams to decorate the pooja shelf .. flowers.. garlands etc has always been a much sort after event.. Any festival that involves shopping even to the smallest scale is so much fun :) . The next day starts with preperation of kozhkattai/mothagams where everyone at home is involved in preparing the sweet dumplings.
After a special offering to lord Ganesh the day continues with sharing the sweet delicacies with friends and ofcourse with the Vinayaka chaturthi special programs on TV and later in the evening it is time to visit my most favourite pillayar koil in town, which is about ten mins drive from my home.
Vinayaka Chathurthi also instills in me a feeling that it is the beginning of a list of festivals to follow, though technically speaking we celebrated Krishna Jeyanthi a week before.
Wish you all a happy Vinayaka Chaturthi and loads of happinness and peace in life :) Lets get started for the festive season ahead ..