Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a major Hindu festival celebrated by Hindus in India and around the world. This joyous occasion marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is mainly celebrated on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi. It is believed that Lord Ganesha appeared on this day.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 Puja Muhurat: Ganesh Chaturthi 2023
|Ganesh Puja Muhurat||11:01 AM – 1:28 PM [Tuesday, September 19, 2023]|
|One day before, the time of prohibited moon sighting||12:39 PM – 8:10 PM [18 September 2023]|
|Forbidden moon sighting time||9:45 AM – 8:44 PM [Tuesday, September 19, 2023]|
|Chaturthi date||18 September 2023 12:39 PM – 19 September 2023 1:43 PM|
Shri Ganesh Origin Story (Shri Ganesh Kataha)
The origin of Lord Ganesha and the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi are described in religious scriptures, especially the Puranas. According to mythology, Goddess Parvati created Ganesha from sandalwood paste to guard the entrance of her chamber while taking bath. When Lord Shiva, the husband of Mother Parvati, returned and was denied entry by Shri Ganesha, he in anger cut off the head of Lord Ganesha. When Goddess Parvati became angry, Lord Shiva gave new life to Lord Ganesha by placing an elephant’s head on his head. After that, with the consent of all the gods, a ritual was made to worship Lord Ganesha. This made Shri Ganesha a unique and beloved deity.
Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Utsav)
Preparation and rituals: from consecration to immersion
Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi start weeks in advance. Families and communities buy or make clay idols (Vigrahas) of Lord Ganesha. Beautifully crafted, these sculptures are often adorned with vibrant colors and decorations. The idols are then placed in houses or pandals (temporary structures) specially built for the festival.
The main rituals of Ganesh Chaturthi include Pranapratishtha, which is the process of invoking life into the idol. Thereafter, sweets, flowers and incense, etc. are offered at various stages of the puja. Devotees sing bhajans and devotional songs and perform aarti to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.
The festival concludes with Ganesh Visarjan, the idol/deity is immersed in a water body, usually a river or sea. This act symbolizes the return of Lord Ganesha to his abode after removing the misfortunes and obstacles of his devotees.
|Ganesh Visarjan||28 September 2023|
Social and cultural impact
Ganesh Chaturthi is not only a religious festival but also a social and cultural celebration. Different communities come together to organize cultural programmes, processions and public celebrations. It promotes unity and harmony among people of diverse backgrounds.
However, there are also environmental concerns associated with the festival, mainly related to the materials used in making the idols. In recent years, there has been a trend towards eco-friendly Ganesha idols made of clay, which dissolves in water without harming the environment.
Conclusion: Ganesh Chaturthi is a vibrant and important festival that celebrates the wisdom, prosperity and divine grace of Lord Ganesha. It is a time for families and communities to come together and immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of India. As the festival becomes increasingly associated with environmental consciousness, it remains a symbol of devotion, unity and hope for a brighter future.
In a world that often appears divided, Ganesh Chaturthi is a reminder of the power of faith, community and belief that, like Lord Ganesha, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way.
History of Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganeshotsav)
The history of Ganesh Chaturthi is rooted in Indian mythology and has evolved over centuries. This festival is the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. Lord Shri Ganesha is revered as the elephant-headed one, the remover of obstacles and the god of wisdom and prosperity. Ganesh Chaturthi is as old as the antiquity of India. But with time there have been significant changes in the rules and regulations of celebrating this festival and with the flow of time it has become a grand festival.
Historical Development: Public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is believed to have started during the Maratha rule in the 17th century.
Contribution of Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Freedom fighter and social reformer Bal Gangadhar Tilak played an important role in turning Ganesh Chaturthi into a public festival with a strong socio-political dimension. He encouraged people to come together, organize processions and use the festival as a platform to express unity and patriotism. It became a tool to organize people against British oppression.
Post-Independence Era: After India gained independence in 1947, Ganesh Chaturthi continued to be celebrated with enthusiasm.
Contemporary Trend: In recent years, Ganesh Chaturthi is not limited to Western India i.e. Maharashtra (Pune and Mumbai) but is becoming a national festival, which is a symbol of social harmony and cultural unity.
In conclusion, Ganesh Chaturthi has a rich history that spans thousands of years, having evolved from a household ritual to a grand public celebration with social and cultural significance. It has played a role in promoting a sense of unity, culture and identity among Indians.