Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god is one of the most adored deities for Hindus and Ganesh Chaturthi is a day to celebrate his birth. The 10-day festival falls on the fourth day of the waxing phase of the moon in the month of Bhadrapada as per Hindu calendar. This year the festival will begin on Saturday, August 22.
Lord Ganesha is the God of wisdom, prosperity, good fortune and the destroyer of evils. Due to all these qualities, he is also known as Vighnaharta and the day of Ganesh Chaturthi is called as Vinayaka Chavithi or Vinayaka Chaturthi.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with fervour and zeal across the country, especially Maharasthra.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Puja rituals
The festival begins with people installing statues of Ganesh at their places. Lifesize statues are installed in the different pandals at public places and worshipped for 10-days. Fruits, flowers and Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweet Modak is offered to him during these 10 days. People worship to their most favourite God and observe fast. The festival begins with welcoming Lord Ganesha into homes and end by ultimately, bidding him goodbye by submerging him in the water on the 10th day. This year the murti visarjan will be held on September 1.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Puja Muhurat
Ganesha Chaturthi begins on Saturday, August 22
Chaturthi Tithi Begins – 11:02 PM on Aug 21, 2020
Chaturthi Tithi Ends – 07:57 PM on Aug 22, 2020
Madhyahna Ganesha Puja Muhurat – 11:06 AM to 01:42 PM
Ganesha Visarjan falls on Thursday, September 1, 2020
Ganesh Chaturthi: Vrat Vidhi
Devotees bring home idols of Lord Ganesha and worship him for 10 days. The people perform Ganpati pooja and aarti in the evening.
On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, all the family members wake up early in the morning, take a bath and don traditional attire. The house is cleaned and the altar is set up. The family worship the clay idol of Lord Ganesha by offering flowers, fruits and sweets. The main highlights of Ganesh puja are offering Durva grass, Arka flowers and modakam. This is followed by chanting of Ganesh mantra, narrating and listening to the stories of Ganesh. Some people also visit Ganesh temples to seek the deity’s blessing.
For the next 10-days, the same routine is followed. The pujas are offered in the morning and the evening. On the 10th day, the last puja is performed and then the immersion ceremony (visarjan) takes place. The devotee offers a ceremonial send-off to the Lord till he returns to bless the homes during the next Chaturthi.
Vinayaka Chaturthi: Fasting Rules
People observe fast from dawn to the dusk. During this time they do not eat anything. Some people also prefer to do partial fast in which they are allowed to eat Prasad offered at the puja and milk. After the evening aarti, the fast is concluded.
The devotees can opt for nirajal vrat (waterless fast) or the phalahar vrat. The devotees are allowed to have fruits, sabudana khichdi, kheer and all kinds of sweets. The followers strictly prohibit consuming non-vegetarian food and alcohol during these 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh Visarjan is equally important as Ganesh Chaturthi. Visarjan ends with a ritual called ‘Uttarpuja’. After which, Lord Ganesha’s statue is immersed in water and blessings are sought. Devotees chant slogans such as Ganapati Bappa Morya while taking the idols to be immersed in the sea. Ganesha Visarjan can also be performed on the 7th, 5th or 3rd day of Ganesh Chaturthi.