Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav, is one of the most well-known Hindu festivals celebrated in India. It is devoted to Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the lord of knowledge, abundance and to the fresh starts. 

The festival is usually observed either in August or September, during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. Across the nation, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm, particularly in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

This year, Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 is being celebrated on September 19. This day commemorates the birth of Master Ganesha, the lord of wisdom, good fortune and prosperity. The occasion is perfect for people to get together, pray and celebrate the joy of existence. The 10-day Chaturthi will end on September 28.

Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: Mahurat 

As per the Drik Panchang, the shubh muhurat or the Chaturthi tithi for the 10-day celebration of Vinayak Chaturdashi 2023 will start at 12:39 pm on Monday, September 18 and end at 20:43 pm on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. Likewise, the Madhyahna Ganesha Puja Muhurat will start at 11:01 am and go on till 01:28 pm. The same will last for 2 hours and 27 minutes.

Chaturthi Tithi commencement- 12:39 pm on September 18, 2023

What is the history behind Ganesh Chaturthi?

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is thought to be the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As indicated by legend, when God Shiva was angry, he cut off Ganesh’s head and supplanted it with an elephant’s head to comfort the sad Goddess Parvati.

Lord Ganesh is then consistently portrayed with a strong torso, an elephant’s head and four arms. Lord Ganesh, also called Ekdanta, Lambodara and different names, is loved for changing individuals’ fortunes and eliminating challenges from their way.

Ganesh Chaturthi: Celebrations

Toward the start of the celebration, Ganesha statues are put on raised stages in homes or in extravagantly beautified outside tents. Pranapratishtha, a ceremony to rejuvenate the idols is the most vital phase in worship. This is followed by shhodashopachara, or the 16 different ways of worship. The Ganesh Upanishad and other Vedic hymns are being chanted as red sandalwood paste and yellow and red flowers are applied to the idols. 

Coconut, jaggery, and 21 modaks (a sweet dumpling) that is said to be Ganesha’s favorite dish are also provided. Toward the end of the celebration, immense parades of idols are taken to nearby waterways, joined by drumming, devotional singing and dancing. As a feature of a custom, they are inundated, addressing Ganesha’s re-visitation of Mount Kailas, the parents home, Shiva and Parvati.

What are the steps to perform Ganpati pooja?

    • Start by bringing Lord Ganesha to your home followed by mahurats and music. 

    • Sprinkle some holy water on the idol and put flowers on it. 

    • Put incense, and a lamp while chanting Ganpati mantras. 

    • Prepare a beautiful decorated seat (asan) to Lord Ganesha during the puja. 

    • Wash Ganesha’s feet and hands as a gesture of welcome. 

    • Put a glass of water for sipping the idol, meaning purification. 

    • Bathe the idol with water, honey, milk, curd, and ghee then wipe it with clean cloth. 

    • Wear him new and sparkling clothes.

    • Decorate it later with flowers, garlands, and jewellery post clothing. 

    • Present sweets, fruits, and other dishes as a symbol of hospitality.

    • Light a lamp and offer it to Lord Ganesha while chanting aarti. 

    • Offer prayers and seek blessings from Lord Ganesha. 

    • On the final day of the celebration, the idol is immersed under a water body to revisit next year.

What is the Importance of Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganesh Chaturthi is an important day in Hindu religion that marks the Ganesha’s rebirth, and is synonymous with new beginnings and fresh starts in life. Legend has it that Goddess Parvati made an idol of a son with sandalwood paste and mixed divine powers in the idol.

A little boy rose up from the idol, who tended to her as mother. The birth of a son, whom Goddess Parvati believed would always be loyal to her, brought her joy.The festival is traditionally and culturally important in India and people from varied backgrounds come together on this day to celebrate the occasion on a grand scale. 

Ganesh Chaturthi has been celebrated since the time of King Shivaji. It was Lokmanya Tilak who made the celebration into a major public holiday from a private celebration, where people from all castes of society could gather, pray and be together during India’s War of Independence. Ganesh Chaturthi symbolises bonding, spiritual devotion, and a renewed sense of hope for a brighter future.

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