Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: All You Need To Know About Bappa's Festival

| September 13 , 2018 , 10:04 IST

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi is the popular Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha. The ten-day Ganeshotsav is celebrated with a lot of cherish and with much more fervour. It starts on the fourth day of Hindu lunisolar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls in the months of August or September of the Gregorian calendar. This year, the Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated on September 13.

The festival is marked with the installation of Ganesha clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals (temporary stages). Observations include chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts such as Ganapati Upanishad, prayers and vrata (fasting). Lord Ganesha is worshipped with flowers and his favourite sweet, modak.

The festival ends on the tenth day after the start, wherein the idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting, then immersed in a nearby body of water such as a river or ocean. In Mumbai alone, around 150,000 statues are immersed annually, thereafter the clay idol dissolves and Ganesha is believed to return to Mount Kailash to Parvati and Shiva.

According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati created Ganesha from dirt and appointed him to prevent anyone from entering her chamber while she was taking a bath. Unaware of Ganesha, Lord Shiva got angry with seeing an unknown boy standing outside trying to prevent him from entering. He then severed Ganesha’s head.

After seeing the headless Ganesha, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva to join his head back, since that was not possible, a head of an elephant was used instead. This gave birth to the beloved Lord Ganesha.

The festival celebrates Lord Ganesha as the God of New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles as well as the god of wisdom and intelligence and is observed throughout India, especially in the states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh and is usually celebrated privately at home in states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Ganesh Chaturthi is also observed in Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora elsewhere such as in the Trinidad, Suriname, Fiji, Mauritius, United States and in Europe.