Ganesh Chaturthi, Vinayak Chaturthi, Ganesh Chautha,Ganapati festival or Ganeshotsav is a sacred, colorful Hindu festival. The festival is observed to commemorate the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom, prosperity and fortune. Lord Ganesha, the most adored God, brings together the people of all the religions.
People are celebrating auspicious festival on Thursday, September 13, 2018, throughout India and other countries.
Lord Ganesha will stay with us for full eleven days. Puja will be performed daily, the festival ends on September 23, 2018 on Anant Chaturdashi with Visarjan of the idol.
The Tithi of celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi festival is on the fourth day of the waxing moon, i.e. Shukla Paksha Chaturthi in the lunar month Bhadrapada, in August or September. This auspicious festival falls once in a year.
The elephant-headed Lord Ganesha is considered as the remover of all the obstacles,known as Vighnharta. That is why people worship Lord Ganesha is always first and remember before starting any auspicious event or venture.
It is a ten/eleven day festival, people celebrate it in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat as public celebration.
But in Goa,Uttar Pradesh,Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana,Kerala and other parts of eastern or north India, people mostly celebrate it as private celebration. People of India, Nepal and other parts of the world also observe it with great enthusiasm
Welcome of Lord Ganesha idol for Ganapati-sthapana
Devotees bring idol of Lord Ganesha for Ganapati-sthapana,Ganesh Chautha/Vinayak Chaturthi Puja.
Date for bringing idol of Lord Ganesha for Ganapati-Sathapana is on 13th September, 2018.
People involve in lots of activities, from housecleaning to decorating, seven days before bringing home idol of Lord Ganesha, during Ganesh Chaturthi.
You may use paper craft for decoration of home or Puja Pandals during Ganesh festival by making flower bouquets or decorative art pieces. These are eco friendly and free from pollution.
People prepare Sweets and Modak, a special sweet, for offering Bhog to Lord Ganesha.They purchase new dresses for this occasion. Women buy ornaments and dress up gracefully during Ganpati Puja.
Devotees bring home idols of both Goddess Gauri and Lord Ganesha, worship, chant Mantra and prayers. People offer Jal, Modak and sweets as favorite Bhog of God Ganesha and his mother Gauri. They perform Arti and distribute Prasad to the people present there during Puja.
Welcome home idol of Gauri for Gauri Avahan and Guri Puja
During the auspicious ocassion, people perform Gauri Avahan and Puja on the third day of the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi puja.
People will bring home idol of Gauri on 15th September, 2018 for Avahan and Gauri Puja and keep in home for three days, till September 17, 2018.
According to the belief Gauri or Goddess Parvati, the mother of Lord Ganesh comes in search of her son Lord Ganesh and brings prosperity and peace with her. After Goddess Gauri finds her son, blesses us, then returns to her home happily, in the Himalayas.
Method of Ganesha Chaturthi Puja in four steps on Ganesh Chautha:
Pandal or a temporary stage is prepared and decorated with flowers and lights. Pujari (priest) performs Ganapati Puja, in four steps, on on this stage, on auspicious Ganesha Chaturthi or Ganesh Chauth.
The first step for Ganesh Chaturthi Puja
The first step is Pran-Pratishtha starts with invoking Lord Ganesha at Madhyahna Kal. Devotees stand in Avahan Mudra (join both palms together). They chant Mantra from Ganesh Upnishada or hymns from Rigveda and other ancient texts, in front of God Ganesha and take Sankalp.
People keep fast (Vrat), perform Puja and Tilak with five betel and five betel-nut, kumkum, haldi, chandan, Vastra, flowers, garland and Bhog with Modak and other sweets.
Ganapati- Sthapana Muhurat 2018
Ganapati- sthapana Muhurat is on 13th, September, 2018 at 11:09 AM to 1:35 PM IST, and 10:50 AM to 1:16 PM IST.
The second step for Ganesh Chaturthi Puja
The second step is Ganapati-sthapana(installing Ganesha) in the auspicious Labh Muhurat and Amrita Chaughadia.
The Puja starts with the bringing of the idol of Lord Ganesha and installing on stage or performing Ganesh-sthapana (Avahan) on decorated Pandala (stage) or at home.
The third step for Ganesh Chaturthi Puja
The next is Shodosopachara Puja, before starting this Puja people should keep fast, do Deep Prajawalan (Lighting Deepak) perform rituals with prayers. Devotees should chant Vedic hymns from Rigveda and other Hindu texts to please Lord Ganesha.
Devotees perform Puja with flowers, garland, Haldi, Durva grass, Jala and Prasad offerings. Aarti is done with Dhup, camphor and lighted Deepak.
People distribute Prasad in form of fruits, dry fruits, Gur, coconut and other sweets, including Laddu and Modak (made of rice flour, Gur and coconut in a particular shape) daily among the devotees after Arti.
The fourth step for Ganesh Chaturthi Puja
In fourth step Uttar Puja is done, wherein the idol of Lord Ganesha is shifted to another place.
One can see feasting and enjoying in large groups of people everywhere, martial art competition is also held for youth and children.
Muhurat,Time for Puja, other rituals for Ganesh Chaturthi
Devotees should prefer Maddhyahna-Kal for starting Ganesh Puja rituals as Lord Ganesha was born during Madhyahna- kal.
Madhyahna Ganesha Puja Time is 11:03 to 13:30
Chaturthi Tithi for Ganpati Puja
Chauth or Chaturthi Tithi begins at 04:07 PM on 12th September, 2018 and ends at 02:51 PM on 13 th September, 2018
On Ganesh Chaturthi moon sighting is prohibited.
To avoid any false accusations of stealing something (Mithya kalanka or Dosha), avoid moon sighting on Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Chautha.
Avoid Moon sighting on 12th, till 8:33 PM and on 13th, till 9 :12 PM
Ganesh Visarjan is performed on Anant Chaturdashi or Anant Chaudas
The Ganeshotsav ends after ten or eleven days on Anant Chaturdashi (Anant Chaudas) on Ganesh Visarjan day, the last day of the festival. This year Ganesh Visarjan will be on Sunday, 23rd September, 2018.
Devotees carry the idol of Ganapati Bappa in a grand public procession through the roads and streets in different groups of rich and poor with music and chanting. During the procession they request Lord Ganesha to come back early, next year (‘Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya varshi Lavker ya’ in Maharashtra).
Then they immerse the idol into the water of lake, river or ocean, assuming that Lord Ganesha has returned to home, Mount Kailasha to meet parents Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
The dates for Visarjan or immersion for the idols of Ganapati, people brought home:
Devotees keep the idol of Lord Ganesh in their homes for shorter period as compared to idol of Lord Ganesha kept for display and Puja Pandals.
They perform Visarjan according to their personal preference but follow a schedule. The immersion will be on selected days. The dates are as follows:
1 or 1-1/2 day- Ganesh Visarjan – September 14, 2018.
3 day- Ganesh Visarjan – September 15, 2018.
5 day- Ganesh Visarjan – September 17, 2018.
7 day-Ganesh Visarjan – September 19, 2018.
The date for Gauri Visarjan
Visarjan of Goddess Gauri idol is on September 17, 2018.
When or how was the Ganeshotsav celebrated for the first time as a social and public celebration ?
Though it is not known when or how Ganesha Chaturthi was first observed for the first time, it is believed that Ganeshotsav was celebrated for the first time as a social and public celebration in Pune by the appeal from Shivaji to Maratha people after the Mughal-Maratha wars.
Ganeshotsav started again in the 19th century after public appeal by Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak against the British government’s ban on Hindu gatherings during British regime.