Ganesh Chaturthi: History, Rituals and Importance of Vinayaka Chavithi

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chavithi, is an auspicious Hindu festival that is held every year for ten days. The festival is celebrated in the month of Bhadra according to the Hindu calendar that usually ranges from mid-August to September. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the beloved elephant king.

Ganesha is known as the Lord of riches, science, intelligence, wisdom, and prosperity, and this is why most Hindus remember him and seek his blessings before starting any important work. Lord Ganesh is known by 108 names like Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighnaharta.

Hindus all over the world celebrate this festival with great devotion and joy. In India, it is mainly celebrated in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, among others.

This year Ganesh Chaturthi beings mark the day of Ganesha Visarjan on August 22nd( Saturday) and September 12 (Thursday). Read on to find out more about this auspicious festival.

History Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha is Lord Shiva’s younger sibling, and Parvati’s. Behind his birth are different stories but two of them are the most famous ones.

According to the first myth, Parvati produced Lord Ganesha from dirt out of her body to protect her in Shiva ‘s absence. When she was taking a bath, she gave him the duty of guarding her bathroom door. When Shiva returned home, and he was stopped by Ganesha, who did not know who Shiva was. It enraged Shiva and, after a tiff between the two, he shaved Ganesha ‘s head. As she came to know about this, Parvati was enraged; Lord Shiva, in exchange, vowed to bring Ganesha back to life. The devas were sent out to look for the head of a child facing north but they could find only the head of an elephant. Shiva placed the head of the elephant on the body of the infant, and that is how Ganesha was born.

The other common theory is that the Devas have asked Shiva and Parvati to create Ganesha so that he can be a Vighnakarta (obstacle creator) for rakshasas (demons), thereby becoming a Vighnaharta (obstacle averter) and supporting Devas.

Importance of Ganesh Chaturthi

Devotees who pray to Ganesha are believed to be able to satisfy their wishes and desires. Ganesh Chaturthi ‘s key meaning, then, is that devotees who pray to him are set free from sins and lead them on the road of truth and wisdom.
The festival was traditionally celebrated since King Shivaji ‘s time. It was during the struggle for independence in India that Lokmanya Tilak changed Ganesh Chaturthi from a private celebration to a large public festival where people from all of society’s castes would come together, pray and be united.

Over the years people have started celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in an environmentally friendly manner with increasing consciousness of the climate. This includes — having Ganesha idols made from natural clay / mitti and only using flowers and natural things to decorate the pandals.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Rituals of Vinayaka Chavithi

There are four major rituals performed during the long festival that lasts 10 days. We are — Pranapratishhtha, Shhodashopachara, Uttarpuja, and Visarjan Ganpati.

Ganesh Chaturthi ‘s enthusiasm drops within weeks of actually beginning the festival. The artisans begin to prepare Ganesha clay idols in various poses and sizes.

In beautifully decorated ‘pandal’ the Ganesha idols are built at houses, temples, or localities. The statue is also adorned with lamps, roses, and garlands. A ritual is observed called Pranapratishhtha where a priest sings mantra to evoke life in the diet.

Prayers are then given in 16 different forms to the idol of Ganesha. Shhodashopachara is the name for this ritual.

People celebrate by singing or playing worship songs, dancing to drum beats, and lighting up fireworks — all adding to the festive atmosphere.

Then the ritual of Uttarpuja is performed which is about bidding Ganesha with a deep reverence for goodbye. This is followed by Ganpati Visarjan, a ritual in which the statue now plunges into the water. People normally chant in the Marathi language ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya’ meaning ‘Goodbye God, please come back next year’ while taking the statue to the sea and immersing it.

Although some devotees celebrate this festival at home, others pay the public pandals for their visit to Lord Ganesha. Citizens give Ganesha their due respect, their prayers, and their offerings. Dishes such as Modak, Pooran Poli, Lord Ganesha’s favorite, and Karanji are prepared for friends, family, and guests.

What is the story behind the tradition of Ganesh visarjan?

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is one of the most celebrated festivals of the Hindus that marks the birth of Lord Ganesha. According to the Gregorian calendar, this festival falls in the month of August or September. During this ten-day festival, devotees worship idols of the elephant-headed Deity who is also regarded as the Remover of Obstacles and the Deity of New beginning.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great pomp and splendor throughout the world. It’s hard to put a date on when people first began celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, but many scholars say the origin of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration can be traced back to the reigns of the dynasties of Satavahana, Rashtrakuta, and Chalukya. According to historical records, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Maharashtra were started by the great Maratha leader Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja to spread the spirit of Nationalism.

Ganesh Chaturthi

The Tradition of Ganesh Visarjan

The Ganesh Visarjan celebration takes place on the last day of the festival. The 10-day festival’s concluding day is also popularly known as Anant Chaturdashi. As the word ‘visarjan’ implies, on this day immersion (‘visarjan’ means immersion) of the idol of Lord Ganapati takes place in a body of water, sea, or river. 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. The devotees come out on the last day in processions bearing their beloved God’s idols and perform immersion.

Ganesh visarjan ‘s legend has an intriguing story to it. On the last day of the festival, Lord Ganesha is believed to return to Mount Kailash to join his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Ganesh Chaturthi celebration also denotes the importance of the birth, life, and death cycle. Often worshiped as the Remover of Barriers is Ganesha, who is also known as the Lord of New Beginnings. It is assumed that when the Ganesha idol is taken out for immersion, the various obstacles of the house are also removed with it and these obstacles are demolished along with the visarjan.

Each year, people await the Ganesh Chaturthi festival with great anticipation. Just as always, we do hope that the Remover of Obstacles will shower us with His blessings this year too just wash out all the hardships of our lives.

Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Date & Time:  Vrat Vidhi, Fasting, and Ganpati Visarjan information

Lord Ganesha is one of the most adored and revered gods for Hindus and the 10-day festival is observed with great fervor to mark his birth, Ganesh Chaturthi. Also known as Vinayaka Chavithi or Vinayaka Chaturthi, Lord Ganesha is revered as the God of wisdom, prosperity, good fortune, and evil-destroyer. He is often sometimes referred to as ‘Vighnaharta.’ Vinayaka Chaturthi occurs in the month of Shravana (August – September) on Chaturthi tithi (fourth day) of Shukla paksha (waxing phase of the moon). People take great pleasure in constructing massive statues of Ganesh in public places to offer their worship to their favorite God who is easily satisfied and who blesses their fulfillment wishes. Here is the general method of conducting the puja and vrat Vinayaka Chaturthi at home.

The 10-day festival will be celebrated from September 2-12 this year, starting with welcoming Lord Ganesha into homes and finally bidding him goodbye by immersing him in the mud. While on September 2, which is a Monday, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated, Visarjan will be held on September 12th.

Vrat Vidhi

Lord Ganesha is worshiped for all days by the evening indulging in Ganpati pooja, songs, and aarti. Devotees bring Ganesha’s idols home and worship him all day long.

On Vinayaka Chaturthi Day, all members of the family wake up early in the morning and take a swim. Clean the building, and set up the altar. For Lord Ganesh, a special seat or pedestal is arranged with or without an enclosure according to convenience. The household normally buys a Ganesh idol in clay or whatever
Whether white or painted fabrics. If possible, the idol is given a bath, and pujas are made.

Ganesh puja’s main highlights give Durva grass and Arka flowers and modakam (sweet-stuffed rice ball). The entire family, in the elaborate puja. Participates with gladness and commitment. The auspicious things to be performed throughout the day include narrating and listening to Ganesh ‘s legends, visiting Ganesh temples and chanting Ganesh ‘s names and stotrams.

Following Vinayaka Chaturthi day, the pujas are given every day in the morning and evening for a couple of days until the day when the immersion ceremony (visarjan) is arranged and the idol worshipped so far is taken in procession and submerged in water bodies following a special rite. By this, the devotee gives the Lord a symbolic send-off before he returns to bless the homes during the next Chaturthi Vinayaka.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Date & Time

Ganesha Chaturthi on Saturday, August 22, 2020
Madhyahna Ganesha Puja Muhurat – 11:07 AM to 01:37 PM
Duration – 02 Hours 30 Mins
Ganesha Visarjan on Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Time to avoid Moon sighting – 09:05 AM to 09:28 PM
Duration – 12 Hours 23 Mins
Chaturthi Tithi Begins – 11:02 PM on Aug 21, 2020
Chaturthi Tithi Ends – 07:57 PM on Aug 22, 2020

Rules for Fasting

Those who quick must start the vrat at dawn and swiftly until evening. Complete rapid will yield great results. But partial history with the consumption of Prasad provided at the puja and milk is also permitted. Ganesh puja is again performed in the evening, and the fast is ended.

The devotees can choose nirajal vrat or phalahar vrat (waterless fast). In addition to fruit, sabudana khichdi, curd, and rice, the devotees are able to eat sweets like sideo, gajak, and rewari. The followers specifically oppose eating alcohol and non-vegetarian foods.

Ganpati Visarjan

Although the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is grand, Ganesh Visarjan is also equally significant. The celebration reflects the sense of the birth, life, and death cycle and also highlights the fact that everything in life is momentary.

Visarjan finishes off with a ceremony called Uttarpuja. Once this has been finished, the statue of Lord Ganesha is plunged into the water, and blessings are sought. Devotees shout slogans like Bappa Morya Ganapati. Citizens sing and dance on the way, enjoying the moment, while taking the idols to be submerged in the sea.

While some want to celebrate Visarjan on the same day as Sthaphna, if it is done on the specified days, Ganesha Visarjan is considered pious;
One and a half day-A large number of devotees perform the Ganesha Visarjan ritual during this span of time.
Ganesha Visarjan can also be performed on Ganesh Chaturthi’s 7th, 5th, or 3rd day.

Anant Chaturdashi is considered to be the holiest and auspicious day for performing the Ganesha Visarjan ritual.

Famous Delicacies – Ganesh Chaturthi Sweets

Ganesh Chaturthi

Within 11 days of Ganesh Chaturthi, devotees give to please Lord Ganesha a variety of prasad or bhog daily. Modak, Puranpoli, Srikhand, Patholi, Rajgira Laddoo, Gur Nariyal Wadi, Sabudana Kheer, Thalipeeth, and Samosa are among the common dishes prepared. Sweet shops are usually lined with counters which sell these delicious dishes. Modak is Ganesh Chaturthi’s main dish which is prepared for the eve. This is a dumpling made out of rice. The stuffing contains a new mixture of coconut, jaggery, and dried fruit.

Also, See Puja Items Online – Puja Samagri, Oil Lamps, and God Idols

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