GANESH CHATURTHI / GANESH FESTIVAL

Ganesh Chaturthi is also famous as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is an annual festival by Hindus. This festival marks the birth of Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and prosperity. It begins on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the Hindu calendar month Bhadrapad (August–September) and lasts for ten days.

GANESH CHATURTHI
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Significance of GANESH CHATURTHI

Ganesh Chaturthi has publicly celebrated in Pune since the Maratha ruler Shivaji (c. 1630–80) used it to encourage nationalist sentiment among his people, who were fighting the Mughals. At the start of the British Raj, the festival lost its state patronage, and it became a private family celebration in Maharashtra. The festival has revived by the Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Bal Gangadhar Tilak, whose attempts mostly focused on making it a community festival. And today, this festival has celebrated worldwide by the Hindu communities and moreover popular in Maharashtra and parts of western India.

Preparations

Clay models of Lord Ganesh have created in various sizes by artisans for sale. The Murti’s range in size from 6 inches for homes to over 70 ft. (21 m) for large community celebrations. The Murti making in Maharashtra begins with “Padya pooja” or worshipping the feet of Lord Ganesh

For the Community celebration, the preparations start months in advance. Furthermore, the Local Mandap or pandals have funded from donations within the community by residents or have sponsored by businesses or community organizations. The pandals decoration is based on themes and or also with storytelling with elaborate detailing and lighting.

Pooja

The Murti’s have brought to “pandals” on the day or a day before the festival begins (Chaturthi). The Murti has placed on decorated platforms/tables in homes or elaborately decorated outdoor Pandals

Initially, the Pooja starts with the pranapratishtha, a ritual to invoke life in the idols and invite Ganesha like a guest, followed by Abhishek and offering like red hibiscus flowers, Durva grass (Ganesha’s favorite herb), fruits, Prasad along with chanting of Vedic hymns from religious texts like the Ganesh Upanishad. Also, Ganesha is offered 21 modaks (sweet dumplings), considered to be Ganesha’s favorite food. Besides, various aartis have performed with friends and family.

Home celebrations vary from 1.5 days to 10 days. The festival has concluded with ‘Visarjan’. The idols have carried to local rivers / artificial lakes in processions accompanied by drumbeats, devotional singing, and dancing. There they have immersed, a ritual symbolizing Ganesha’s homeward journey – the abode of his parents, Shiva and Parvathi.

Some of the Festivities of GANESH CHATURTHI

Foods

The primary sweet dish during the festival is Modak. A modak is a dumpling made from rice, stuffed with grated coconut, jaggery, dried fruits, and other condiments and steamed or fried. On this day, the Steamed modak carries a significance.

Associated Festivals

Ganeshotsav is also associated with other festivals, namely Hartalika and the Gauri festival, In Maharashtra Hartalika is observed with a fast by women on the day before Ganesh Chaturthi.

Also read, Durga Pooja.

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