Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important festivals of India. Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi. It is celebrated with immense joy and happiness. According to Hindu culture, it is believed that Lord Ganesh arrives to Earth from Kailash Parvat along with his mother Goddess Parvati/Gauri and this is reason why people install Lord Ganesh idols in their homes privately and in pandals and localities publicly. Devotees of Lord Ganesh believe that he blesses them with wisdom, happiness and prosperity. People offer Modak, Durva grass, coconut and red flowers to Lord Ganesh. The festival starts on Shukla Chaturthi which is the fourth day of the waxing moon period and ends on the fourteenth day of waxing moon period which is also known as Anant Chaturdashi. On the tenth day after start, i.e. on Anant Chaturdashi, the statue of Lord Ganesh is immersed in a nearby water body as this marks the farewell to Lord Ganesh. It is believed to be the return of Lord Ganesh to Kailash Parvat and people wait eagerly for him to come next year. Therefore, people celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi every year with same happiness and joy.
Ganesh Chaturthi in India – Date, History, Importance & Celebration
According to studies, in Mumbai alone around 150,000 idols of Lord Ganesh are immersed annually. Lord Ganesh is considered as God of new beginnings that is why in India Lord Ganesh is worshipped before every new beginning. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over India especially in the states such as Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madya Pradesh, Andra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu. Ganesh Chaturthi is also observed in some parts of Nepal.
Chaturthi date 2019: September 2
Ganesh Chaturthi date 2020: August 22
Ganesh Chaturthi date 2021: September 9
Digging into the Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As the tale suggests Goddess Parvati created Lord Ganesh with the help of some unguent and balm, gave him life and asked him to guard the door while she bathed. After a long period of meditation, Lord Shiva chose to see his wife Parvati but he was abrupted by Ganesh. Unknown to the incidents about him being his son, being abrupted by a stranger outraged his anger and Shiva cut of his head. Later after hearing the whole tale from Parvati, he realised that he cut off the head of Parvati’s son. Shiva immediately asked his attendants to get him the head of the first living creature they could find. And the first living creature they found happen to be an elephant. As instructed, they cut off the elephant’s head and bought it to Lord Shiva. He immediately placed elephant’s head on the child’s body and gave life to elephant-headed God Lord Ganesh, the cutest and most loving God.
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It is also believed that Lord Ganesh was born on fourth day (Chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. Therefore, we consider this festival as Ganesh Chaturthi.