Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chavithi, is an auspicious Hindu festival that is held every year during the month of Bhadra according to the Hindu calendar that usually ranges from mid-August to September. It is believed to be the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the beloved elephant king.
Ganesha is known as the Lord of removal of obstacles and this is why in Hindu culture Lord Ganesha Pooja is first performed seeking his blessings before starting any poojas OR any important work.
Ganesha Chathurthi is celebrated all over India and we can find special celebrations in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, etc. Freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak transformed this festival to ‘Struggle For Freedom’ and as a display of nationalism.
This year 2020 the Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Saturday, 22 August. Its almost celebrated any days in 2 months from the day of Chaturthi at different locations based on the tradition. Some will celebrate for 1 day on the day of the festival, some will celebrate for 3 days, 9 days 12 days based on the convenience. This Year 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic very few grand celebrations will be observed in India.
Ganesha Gets Elephant’s Head – History
The tale says Goddess Parvati used sandalwood paste to make baby Ganesha and asked him to guard the entrance while she was in the bath. However, Ganesha stopped him from the same when Lord Shiva wished to enter the premises. It angered Lord Shiva and he cuts off the head of Ganesha. Goddess Parvati was heartbroken when she came to realize this fact. Lord Shiva promised her to restore baby Ganesha to life. He told his followers called Ganas to get the head of the first living creature slept with its head towards north direction so that they could attach it to the body of Ganesha. Ganas came back with a baby elephant’s head, and this is how Lord Ganesha came to life again. It was then that Lord Shiva called him the Ganas king, Ganapati.
Its believed that this could be one of the reasons that elders say not to sleep with the head towards north direction part from the gravity law towards north pole that impacts the blood flow in people when they sleep towards the north.
Pooja Rituals for Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations
There are five major rituals performed during the long festival. We are —
Red-colored flowers, fruits, sugarcane, and sweet modak are offered to Lord Ganesha as been his favorites during Pooja.
Ganesh Chathurthi 2020 – Best Timings to Perform Ganesh Pooja
Lord Ganesha is referred to as the God of wisdom, prosperity, good fortune, and evil-destroyer. He is often called as ‘Vighna Vinashaka.’ Festival Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of Shravana (August – September) on Chaturthi tithi (fourth day) of Shukla paksha (waxing phase of the moon). This year 2020, 22nd Aug Saturday is marked as Vinayaka Chaturthi. People take great pleasure in installing massive statues of Ganesh at their homes OR public places to offer their worship to their favorite God who is easily satisfied and blesses their fulfillment wishes.
Here are the best timings recommended to offer pooja to Lord Ganesha during his festival in 2020
Morning: 7-50 AM to 8-55 AM (Amruthavele)
Morning: 10:35 AM to 12-51 PM (Amruthavele)
Afternoon: 1-45 PM to 2.30 PM (Amruthavele)
Afternoon: 3:00 PM to 3-40 PM shuba(Auspicious)
Please note these timings can be varied according to geolocation.
Know why one must not look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi.
It is a belief that one should not sight the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi as it may result in Mithya Dosham. Anyone who sights the moon on Shukla Chaturthi of Bhadrapada will be falsely accused of stealing because of Lord Ganesha’s curse to Lord Chandra the moon god.
Here is the story. Lord Ganesha was returning home with the mouse, Chandra the moon god began to laugh and commented on his belly and the tiny mouse. In order to teach the moon a lesson, Lord Ganesha cursed him that no light would ever fall on him. Thus, the moon disappeared into the skies. The moon and other gods sought pardon and Lord acceded. However, once a curse is pronounced it cannot be taken back completely. It can only be reduced. So Lord Ganesha reduced his curse and said that whoever sees the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi festival they would be cursed with Mithya Dosha sharing the impact of curse with Moon God.
Time to avoid Moon Sighting 9:07 AM to 9:26 PM
The Tradition of Ganesh Visarjan
The devotees mark the start of Ganesh Chaturthi on the first day of the festival with the installation of Lord Ganesha’s idol in their homes, public places, and offices and on the last day they do processions bearing their beloved God’s idols and perform immersion which the process is called as Ganesh Visargan.
It is assumed that when the Ganesha idol is taken out on a procession during the Ganesh Visarjan process, the various obstacles of the house and places which come in the way procession are removed and these obstacles are demolished along with the visarjan into water bodies.
Hope the above information provides the importance of celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi. Nowadays we can see all other regional communities apart from Hindus also celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi as the symbol of togetherness.
May Lord Ganesha destroy Corona, the deadly Virus which is bothering the nation and the whole world and bless all of us with Health and Prosperity. Stay Safe and Wish U all Happy Ganesha Chaturthi.