Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular Indian festival that honors the birth of Lord Ganesha, the most loved elephant-headed Hindu God. The lord is worshipped as a remover of obstacles and it is believed Ganesha brings good fortune. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great grandeur all across the country by local communities where people become competitive so as to showcase the most beautiful and charming Ganesha idol.
In this article, you will have all the information about Ganesh Chaturthi 2019 – its date, history, significance, rituals and more.
When is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated?
Also called Vinayak Chaturthi, this festival falls on the fourth day of Shukla Chaturthi of Bhadrapada month according to the Hindu calendar. Shukla Chaturthi falls in the months of August or September every year. In 2019, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on 2 September. The festival continues for 10 days and ends on Anant Chaturthi.
So, if you have any plans to visit India this year, try booking the tickets during the festival to experience the vibrant celebrations.
What is the importance of Ganesh Chaturthi and Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is considered to be the most loved Hindu gods. The deity is known as the destroyer of troubles and harbinger of prosperity and wisdom. Ganesha is worshipped at the start of every ritual and happy ceremony as he is also known as the God of all beginnings. Ganesha is dearly named Vinayaka and Ganapati in various parts of the country.
Talking about the importance of Ganesh Chaturthi, it is one of the most colorful Indian festivals and is celebrated widely around the country. The day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha and devotees believe that Ganesha will bring wisdom, prosperity and happiness with him. The festival was first celebrated in Pune but with the British rule, it ended. However, Lokmanya Tilak started the ritual yet again spreading the light of freedom and happiness all around. Since then the festival is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm.
How do Indians celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?
People buy or make idols of Lord Ganesha and the deity is brought into the house with an auspicious ceremony. You will see Ganpati Pandals at various spots in cities and villages alike, mostly in the colonies and communities. For all 11 days, special rituals, music performances, celebrations and various different cultural activities are performed. Coming to food, the modaks and varieties of other sweets are just mouth-watering!
On the last day, a grand procession is observed while bidding farewell to Lord Ganesha. The idols of Ganpati Bappa are taken to the sea and immersed. People stand there watching the idol drowning in the water post which they bath in the river and return.
What are the main rituals of the festival?
Ganesh Chaturthi is mainly about four major rituals, as follows:
- Prana Pratishtha – process of idol creation
This ritual is performed while placing the clay idol in the house or pandal by reading prayers. People sing devotional songs, pray and there are some communities who organize music concerts on this day, the first day of the festival.
- Shhodashopachara – paying tribute to the god
During this ritual, people and priests chant 16 kinds of prayers. Special delicacies are prepared and offered to the deity and the place is decorated with flowers.
- Uttarpuja – thanking the lord for his presence
This ritual takes place on the last day called Anant Chaturthi, right before the idol is taken moved from its place for the procession. Prayers and mantras are chanted by the priest thanking the deity for his blessings and wisdom.
- Ganpati Visarjan – immersing the idol in the waters
The last and final ritual is bidding the lord farewell. This implies that nothing is permanent in life and god resides everywhere in every form.
Why the Ganesh idols are immersed in the water on the last day?
Hindus worship statues or idols of gods to get a visible form to pray. They even believe that change is the only constant in this universe and form eventually gives in to formlessness. However, the spiritual energy exists everywhere forever. The immersion of Lord Ganesha’s idols in the water and its eventual destruction symbolizes the reminder of its eternal existence.
Where is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated?
If you want to experience the grand celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in India, travel to Pune or Mumbai in Maharashtra. As the festival is celebrated with grandeur all across the country, you can also make plans to visit Goa, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and even Thiruvananthapuram is a good option.