Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

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Ganesh Chaturthi is on September 13, 2018 thursday. Ganapati ji was born in medieval time so his establishment should be during this period. This festival will begin from September 13 and ends till 23 September.

On this day Hindus all over the world celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi or  the birthday of Ganesha (the elephant-headed God of Wisdom and Prosperity) also called Chavath and Ganeshotsav falls on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (around August-September). Ganesh is also known by the names Ganapati, Ekadanta, Vinayaka and Heramba. Irrespective of what Hindu tradition, he is still one of the most popular deities for worship.

Ganesh Chaturthi Rituals

The puja of Lord Ganesh or Ganesha on the Ganesha Chaturthi day is to be performed at noon. A clay image of the God, painted beautifully, is installed on a raised platform. After the usual preliminary rituals, the Pran Pratishtha must be done with the appropriate mantras. This Pran Pratishtha is done for the purpose of invoking the presence of Lord Ganesha into the image. This is followed by the worship with sixteen modes of showing honor, known as Shodashopachara.

There are four mail rituals during the festival.

  • Pranapratishhtha: It is the process of creating an idol or murti of the Lord or we can say, infusing the deity into an idol with any kind of material
  • Shhodashopachara-It includes 16 forms of paying tribute to Lord Ganesha
  • Uttarpuja- It is the kind of a puja or ritual after which Lord Ganesha could be shifted to other place
  • Ganpati Visarjan- It is the process of immersion of the idol in the water body, mainly sea

Offering of Durva (grass) blades and modaka, a delicacy prepared from rice flour, jaggery, and coconut, is an important part of the Ganesh Chaturthi puja. Ganesha is also offered red flowers, and anointed with a red chandana. The immersion of the image in a body of water is ceremonially performed at the end of the Chaturathi vrata.

Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations

The end of the monsoon brings one of the Mumbai’s largest and popular festival: “Ganesh Chaturthi”. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the day is marked as Lord Ganesha’s birthday!

As per the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi during the month of Magha, i.e. between January and February and is famously known as “Ganesh Jayanti”, mainly observed in Maharashtra and coastal regions of Konkan. However, in most parts of India, Ganesh Chaturthi is observed in the month of Bhadra, i.e. between August-September. The festivals lasts for 10 days.

Lord Ganesha likes laddu as prashadLadoos are distributed on Ganesh chaturathi – by tradition ladoos were placed in different corners of the house and eaten before the meal. Milk is offered to idols of lord Ganesha at home and at temples, and Ganesh puja is performed at all temples and hi-house prayer rooms. Hindus pray to images of Lord Ganesha, large and small, many of them made specially for the occasion by cottage industries and street side artisans, and those that do not wish to keep the idols alive by daily prayers, offerings and lighting oil lamps, immerse them in the nearest water body.

There are many versions behind the origin of the festival. Many say that the festival started during the era of the Maratha ruler “Chhatrapati Shivaji” but the enthusiasm faded away with the time. Later, the famous freedom fighter “Lokmanya Tilak” brought the festival with a great zest and people started celebrating it as one of the biggest festivals of India.

This day is considered distinctive as Lord Ganesha was acknowledged by his father Lord Shiva as one of the powerful and superior gods.

Lord Ganesha is a symbol of knowledge, fortune, and prosperity. We worship him before we start any major activity to ensure success!

There are idols made out of clay or Plaster of Paris and people worship the idol at home for all the 10 days by offering libations such as honey, milk, and sweets.

People intensely prepare for these 10 days and actually start preparations a month in advance. The sculptors sweat it out like anything to make Lord Ganesh’s idols from, 3/4th inches to 30-40 meters in height. Their work is commendable!

On the last day, thousands of people flood the streets in a procession with music and dance to immerse the idols in the sea. This act signifies that the devotees are sending Lord Ganesha back to Lord Shivji and Goddess Parvati.

Ganesh Chaturthi picsThroughout the ceremony, priests chants hymns from the Vedas as an act of devotion. The idols are decorated with glittering lights, flower garlands and smeared with kumkum. This is an inexorable traditional ceremony to honour and praise the god. People get too much into the festival that they just know how to enjoy the festival and keep the god pleased!

People from different communities come to worship Ganesha in beautifully done tents. The venue where the idol is placed also has stalls for charity, blood donation, medical-check-ups and there are few dramatic performances with music and dance all the day.

Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival that actually teaches you about your life in a way. Think a little deep! You actually celebrate someone coming to your life. You treat Lord Ganesha or Ganapati Bappa as an adored guest, you offer him his favourite food, decorate the house, invite people to see him. And each and every day feels like a festival and the time to celebrate. And finally, on the last day, you let Ganapati Bappa move out of your place in a hope that he will come back the next year.

Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival for foodies. It’s modak time! Modak is a sweet dumpling made out of rice flour and ghee stuffed with coconut and jaggery. This is the traditional one. Today, we see varieties of modaks, infused with strawberries, chocolates, healthy-baked and sugar-free ones. These are available in every sweet shop.

Lalbaugcha Raja GaneshaTalking about Mumbai, these 10 days are like a grand celebration for the Mumbai Kars. The city is speckled with the majestic pandals in all the areas. The biggest and Mumbai’s favourite is Lalbaugcha Raja, who presides nonchalantly over the sea and bags millions of visitors. The 12-foot tall Raja raises crores of rupees every year and the amount collected is put into communities through initiatives such as health camps, hospitals. Likewise, all the localities in Mumbai have its own pandal with the tinkling sound of bhajans throughout the day.

The festival is now not just limited to Maharashtra, there are many other cities that are celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with a zeal and enthusiasm. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh also celebrate the festival with great fervour. No one misses out this grand fiesta.

Remember, not to look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. There is an interesting story behind this.

Once, the Moon tried to make fun of Lord Ganesha by pointing out on his belly and elephant head and passed some sarcastic remarks. Lord Ganesha could not take this and cursed the moon by saying that nobody will look at him or praise him on that day, and the day was “Bhadrapada Chaturthi”. Due to the curse, it is said that, if anyone looks at the moon that day will face false allegations and hence, suffer.

The lesson that can be learnt though this is to “lose arrogance and stay humble”. And it is not the external appearance that matters but it’s always about the inner beauty!

The devotees and believers of Lord Ganesha share the importance and excitement of the celebration with their closed ones. To mark the essence of the festival, they send wishes to their closed ones in the form of gifts or devotional messages and invite them for get-together and enjoy the festival with a great passion.

May the blessings of Lord Ganesha bestow upon you and he removes all the obstacles that stand in your path!

Ganesh Visarjan

Ganesh statue visarjanAlthough Ganapati installs at home somewhere for one day, somewhere 3 days, somewhere 5, 7 days or somewhere for 10 days, but starting from Ganesh Chaturthi, this festival end on Anant Chaturdashi and till this day the statue of Ganesh ji immersion (ganesh visarjan) should be done in every condition. There are different logic given in the religious texts about the establishment and the immersion of the Ganesh idol. It is said that after Vedavyaas ji narrated the story of Mahabharata, to calm the glow of lord Ganesh drowned in the lake.

It has been mentioned in mythological texts that Maharishi Vedavyaas had started reciting the story of Mahabharata from Ganesh Chaturthi to Lord Shri Ganesh. For ten consecutive days, Vedavyaas continued to tell stories to Shri Ganesha and Ganesha continued writing the story. When the story was over, Maharishi Vedavas opened the eyes and saw that the temperature of Ganesh ji increased due to the hard work. In order to reduce the temperature of Ganesha’s body, Vedavis ji takes lord Ganesha in the nearby Sarovar and takes a bath. On the day of Anant Charturdashi, a bath was made in the lake to calm the pace of Ganesh. So on this day, the practice of immersion the Ganesha statue started.

Why do we worship lord ganesha on ganesh chaturthi?

Sankashti Chaturthi

Anant Chaturdashi falls on sunday 23 September 2018 this year, on the day Ganesh immersion will be.

Every festival of Lord Ganesha has its own significance. Sankashti chaturthi is celebrated two times every month. The Chaturthi that comes after the full moon is called the Sankashti chaturthi and the Chaturthi which comes after the new moon is called Vinayak Chaturthi. Sankhachti Chaturthi means the chaturthi to defeat the all crisis. On this day remover of all obstacles lord Ganesha is worshipped. On this day, fasting is kept for Gauri son Ganesh Ji. Worship is done following all rules and guideline for in religious text. If this chaturthi falls on Tuesday, it is called Angarki Chaturthi. At the same time, if Chaturthi comes after the full moon of Magha month is considered very auspicious.

The devotees of Ganapati keep fast on this day and open the fast after view(Darshan) the moon. Those who keep fasting can eat fruits, Sabudana khichadi, peanuts and potatoes.

On Sankashti Chaturthi arti of lord Ganesha must be performed. Along with this, the story of the Sankashti Chaturthi fast should surely be heard. On this day, during the worship of Lord Ganeshaan chanting “om ganeshaya namah” or “om gam ganapataye namaha” mantra gives a lot of auspicious results.

This year Ganesh Chaturthi falls on 13th September

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