Ganesh Chaturthi is set to be celebrated today across the country. The most spectacular celebrations of the festival are seen in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat. Lord Ganesh, known as the remover of all obstacles, is worshipped first, among all Hindu gods and goddesses.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Chaturthi Tithi of Shukla Paksha in Bhadrapada month, according to the Hindu calendar. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated on Wednesday (August 31). The 10-day celebration ends on Anant Chaturdashi with Ganesh Visarjan.
Date and Shubh Muhurat
Ganesha Chaturthi begins on Wednesday (August 31). Madhyahna Ganesha puja muhurat is from 10.21 am to 12.52 pm. Chaturthi tithi began at 3.33 pm on Tuesday and will end at 3.22 pm on Wednesday. Ganesha Visarjan will be held on Friday (September 9).
Devotees believe that worshipping Lord Ganesh on Ganesh Chaturthi leads them on the path of knowledge and wisdom. It is said that praying to Lord Ganesh ends all troubles, which is why he is also known as Vighnaharta and Vighneshwara.
Ganesh Chaturthi has four main rituals -- Pranapratishtha, Shodashopachara, Uttarpuja, and Visarjan puja. Beautifully decorated Ganesh idols are placed at puja pandals, homes, offices, and educational institutions on the day of Chaturthi. The idol is adorned with flowers and garlands.
The Pranapratishtha ritual is performed by a priest by chanting a mantra. Then 16 different rituals are performed - known as Shodashopachara puja. Modak, a popular sweet dumpling from Maharashtra, is said to be the favourite prasad of Lord Ganesh. Modak and other sweets and fruits are offered to Lord Ganesh during the puja.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by singing and playing religious hymns, dancing to drum beats, and preparing a delicious meal. The third main ritual of Ganesh Chaturthi is Uttarpuja - which is about bidding farewell to Lord Ganesh. It is followed by Visarjan.
During Visarjan, Ganesh idols are taken to nearby water bodies in a street procession and immersed in water. In Maharashtra, during Visarjan procession, people chant "Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya”, which means “Goodbye Lord Ganesha, please come back next year.”