“Shree Ganeshay Namah”, that’s what we say generally when we start with anything new. Remembrance of Lord Ganesha to start with anything new is believed to be auspicious according to the Hindu Mythology. Lord Ganesh is considered as the remover of obstacles. He is also considered as the first God to be worship and without worshiping him, any rituals and prayer would remain incomplete.
Placing a significant position in Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha has an interesting story of his birth which whole India celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. This spectacular festival of elephant-headed God is widely celebrated throughout the country with the same zeal and enthusiasm. This festival fascinates many travelers from all across the globe and enhances the charm of India tourism.
- What is Ganesh Chaturthi?
- The Legends of Ganesh Chaturthi
- Ganesh Chaturthi In India – The Beginning
- Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration in India
- The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in Home and in Public
- Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes
- Visarjan on Ganesh Chaturthi and Environmental Concern
1. What is Ganesh Chaturthi?
The younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is Lord Ganesha. His birthday is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi and somewhere it is also called Vinayak Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi in India is generally celebrated at the end of August Month and starting of the month of September. Ganesha Chaturthi falls on the 4th day of Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar month of Bhadrapad and is celebrated for 10 days. This year Ganesh Chaturthi 2018 will be celebrated from 13th September 2018 to 23rd September 2018.
2. The Legends of Ganesh Chaturthi
From Big to small, from national to regional, every festival in India is celebrated with all joy and pomp which adds the beauty to the festivals. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is just not an exception. To know more about this festival lets us proceed further and know what are the legends behind celebrating this festival.
According to the legends, Goddess Parvati created an idol out of the bath sand and made it alive from that idol came out a boy. Goddess Parvati asked a boy to guard the door while she was taking bath. Meanwhile, Lord Shiva came and started entering into the place. Ganesha stopped him and both got into a huge fight. Lord Shiva in rage cut Ganesha’s head with his trident.
When Goddess Parvati came to know this, she asked Shiva to bring Ganesha back to life. After knowing the reality, Shiva asked his followers to bring the head of first living being who would be facing north. On returning, the followers of Shiva brought the head of a baby elephant. Shiva Took the head and attached it with Ganesha’s lower body and bring him back to life. Shiva boon Ganesha as the “Pratham Pujya”, which means the one who is worship first and the one who is worship as the God of new beginnings.
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3. Ganesh Chaturthi In India – The Beginning
The beginning of the celebration of Ganesha Chaturthi in India is yet unknown yet many historians believed that Vinayak Chaturthi aka the Ganesh Chaturthi is publically celebrated in Pune since the era of Shivaji that is during the years between 1630 to 1680 AD. Later when the British started ruling, the festival has been confined to only Maharashtrian families only.
Later great freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak who is also known as Lokmanya Tilak revives this festival. Lokmanya Tilak, encourage people to celebrate Ganesha Festival on a large scale and to celebrate this festival as a public event. The reason behind celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi on a large scale was to bring together the people together in bonhomie irrespective of their cast, creed, and religions. Tilak played a significant role in expanding the celebration of this festival and also to spread the hidden means for political activism, intellectual discourse, plays and folk dances. You can learn a lot more about this festival during your India tour packages.
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4. Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration in India
Being one of the most prominent festivals in India, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great zeal in all India. Though celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the country, Ganesha Chaturthi is greatly celebrated in Mumbai. Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai is quite famous throughout the country. If you ever been on your Mumbai tourism during this festival then we recommend you to not to miss this magnum opus festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The preparation of Ganesh Chaturthi is started a month before with the preparation of clay idol ranging from small to big sizes. These statues are an important part of Ganesh Puja rituals. People bring these idols to their homes or marquees and worship them for 10 days. Beautifully painted Ganesha Idols are offered with Prasad of modaks and people seek his blessings.
5. The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in Home and in Public
At homes in India, especially in Maharashtra install the idol of Lord Ganesha and worship it every morning and in an evening with flowers, durva, karanji, and modaks. People sing Aarti for Lord Ganesha at the end of daily pooja. In Maharashtra, people majorly sing Aarti “Sukhkarta Dukhharta” which was composed by Samarth Ramdas, a saint from the 7th century. At the end of the festival on the 11th day at Anant Chaturdashi, the idol of Lord Ganesha is brought to the water bodies such as sea, lakes or ocean for the immersion.
Apart from the celebration of the festival at home, Ganesha Chaturthi is also celebrated as a public festival, especially in Mumbai. The huge idol of Lord Ganesha is put in the pandal (marquees) by the local youth or group of society. To arrange this festival fund will be raised by the members of the society. These marquees are the public place where people of all casts and religion can come and enjoy this vibrant festival. During the Ganesha Festival, several cultural programs take places like dance, music, drama, and competitions which creates a perfect aura of divinity among the devotees.
6. Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes
Among all other things, Lord Ganesha is also known for his love for food and modaks. So people during this festival cook various delicious delicacies to offer to their deity. Devotees specially offer modak or laddoo to Lord Ganesha as it is considered as the most loved delicacy by Lord Ganesha. Different state has different especially such as Maharashtrians offer Modak and Karanji, in Goa people serves Nevri. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Ganesha is offered with Laddoo, Vundrallu, Panakam, Vadapappu, and Chalividi. People on South India tourism love traveling to Ganesha temple.
7. Visarjan on Ganesh Chaturthi and Environmental Concern
On the last day of Ganesha Chaturthi, the festival ends with the immersion of Ganesha Idol in the water bodies. But due to the increasing water pollution due to the idol immersion which is made up of POP (Plaster of Paris), High Court in many states have held the immersion of POP idols unlawful. States like Madras, Goa and many other states have implemented this law.
Even people are also getting aware towards the environment and started celebrating eco-friendly Ganesha Chaturthi by bringing the idol of Ganesha which is made up of clay, or jute or even made up of chocolate.
In the past few years, the Chocolate Ganesha has been a part of many homes which at the end of the festival immersed in milk. People then this chocolate milk distributed to children and poor people. What else could be a better way to celebrate this amazing festival that too in the sweetest and unique manner which spreads a smile on the face of people. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi everyone.