Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrating the birthday of the elephant-headed god Ganesha. The 10-day celebration begins with the installation of an idol of Lord Ganesha on this day and ends with immersion in a body of water. This festival begins on the 4th day of the Hindu month of Bhadra and ends on the 14th day. In 2022, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations will begin on Wednesday, August 31st.
History and Meaning of Ganesh Chaturthi
There are no official records or texts that speak of the exact origins of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival. However, it is estimated that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire, began celebrating it between 1630 and 1680. After the fall of the Peshwas, celebrations in Maharashtra became a family affair.
Freedom fighter Lokmanyatilak revived the festival in 1893, and in that year he transformed it from a national celebration to a major public event. At a time when the British government banned social and political gatherings in India, the celebrations evoked patriotism and united people of all castes and communities against colonial rule.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations across India
The celebration of this festival begins with the preparation of Lord Ganesha‘s idol some months in advance. On the day of the festival, the idol is placed in a house or an elaborately decorated pandal for the next ten days. The celebration begins with prana pratishta (the ritual of infusing an image with a deity) followed by Shodashopachala which includes 16 ways of paying homage to idols. During this ceremony, people offer jaggery, modaka, red flower, coconut, and Dhruva to God and chant Vedic hymns.
On the eleventh day, the idol is taken to a body of water and bathed in a procession of dancing and singing. Uttar Puja is performed on the spot and the final offering to the Lord is made before Visarjan. This ritual symbolizes Lord Ganesha’s return to his home after staying as a guest and taking with him all the obstacles that humans face.
On this day, people fast and stay up all night in honour of Lord Ganesha, who is considered the god of new beginnings, success, wisdom and the removal of obstacles. In addition to worshipping Lord Ganesha, people make and distribute sweets, especially modaka.
The famous states celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in India – are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Gujarat.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to All !!!!!!!!!!!
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