According to Hindu customs, Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birth of the deity Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom and prosperity. Celebrated with much fervour, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the grandest and most important Hindu festivals.
History and significance
It is believed that Goddess Durga had made Ganesha out of clay, following which she breathed life into the idol. She then asked him to guard her chambers while she bathed, instructing him to not allow anyone to enter. As such, when Lord Shiva returned home, he had to fight Ganesha to meet his own wife. Enraged after repeated failed attempts, Shiva severed Ganesha’s head from his body. When Durga learned of this, she was livid, and threatened to unleash hell on earth.
She said she would only calm down if it is promised to her that her son would be the most loved god and that he would be worshipped before every other god. Lord Shiva agreed, and then instructed his comrade, Nandi, to find the head of any living creature that was closest to them. Nandi returned with an elephant’s head that was placed on Ganesha’s body. Thus, he was reborn and has since been worshipped above and before all gods.
The worship is initiated with the pranapratishtha, a ritual to instill life in the idols followed by the 16 ways of paying tribute known as shhodashopachara. Vedic hymns from religious texts are recited while the idols are adorned with red sandalwood paste and yellow and red flowers. The idol is then offered coconut, jaggery, and 21 modaks.
Families enjoy scrumptious food, celebrate with friends and family, worship the idol with fervor and zeal and finally immerse the idols at the end of the commemoration, symbolising Ganesha’s journey to Mount Kailash, the abode of his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti/Durga.
According to Drik Panchang, the Madhyahna Ganesha puja muhurat will be for 2 hours and 27 mins between 11:02 am and 01:29 pm on September 19. It is suggested to avoid moon sighting on Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Chaturthi tithi begins at 12:39 pm on September 18 and ends at 1:43 pm on September 19. The Ganesha visarjan will take place on September 28.