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Lord Ganesha’s homecoming is celebrated in the month of Bhadra, according to the Hindu Luni-Solar calendar, which typically falls in the months of August or September. The festival ends on the tenth day of bringing him home, to signify his return to Mount Kailasha to his parents Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. This year, Ganesha Chaturthi 2017 will begin on 25th August and end on 5th September. Of all the festivals in India, Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the most colourful and exciting 10-day long celebrations. Ganeshotsav or Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated all over India with a lot of enthusiasm in order to commemorate Lord Ganesha’s birthday. Ganesh Chaturthi is observed by installing Lord Ganesha’s idol at home for a period of 10 days after which it is immersed in the river. This Ganesh Chaturthi let us get to know the festival in detail – its significance and other associated rituals and traditions.

Significance and History of Ganesh Chaturthi

The auspicious festival of Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated with much fervor and joy in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Out of all the stories that are linked with the history of this festival, the most relevant one is associated with his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is believed that Goddess Parvati created little Ganesha using the dirt off her body while having a bath and sent him to guard the door while she was bathing. Lord Shiva, who had gone out, returned at that time. Unknowingly, little Ganesha stopped him from entering. An enraged Lord Shiva severed the head of the little child after a heated argument. Looking at an angered and vexed Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva promised her to give Ganesha a new life. The followers were sent to search for a head; however all they could bring was a head of an elephant. Lord Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child and brought him back to life. That’s how he was named Gajanan.

(Also read: Ganesha Chaturthi 2017: Why Ganesha Loves Modak?)

ganesh chaturthiThe auspicious festival of Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated with much fervor and joy

Celebrations During Ganesha Chaturthi

Two-three months before the festival, beautiful clay models of Lord Ganesha are made by skilled artisans and sold in the markets. These beautiful statues depict Lord Ganesha in various poses. On the day of Ganesha Chaturthi, these statues are brought home with lot of excitement. For the next 10 days, localities witness beautiful pandals with huge statues of Ganesha. The priests in every pandal perform four main holy rituals- first being Pranapratishhtha to invoke life into the statues amidst the chanting of sacred verses. The ritual is then followed by Shhodashopachara- 16 forms of paying tribute to the Lord. Next one is Uttarpuja, which is a pooja in which the idol could be shifted from one place to another and the last ritual is Ganpati Visarjan, which is the immersion of the idol in water. The visarjan is followed by loud chanting of “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudcha Varshi Lokar Ya”, which means ‘Lord Ganesha, come back soon next year.’

Ganesh Chaturthi 2017: Prasad and Bhog

Sweets and savories like modak, jaggery and coconut are offered to the deity. It is believed that Lord Ganesha loved modak which is a sweet dumpling made from rice flour mixed with coconut and jaggery. The plate containing modak is supposed to be filled with 21 pieces of the sweet, while offering it to the idol as Bhog.
 

ganesh chaturthiSweets and savories like modak, jaggery and coconut are offered to the deity.

Ganesha Chaturthi 2017: Pooja Mahurat and Timings

 

For bringing Gajanan home:

Madhyahna Ganesha Pooja Time- 11:25 am to 13:57 pm
On 24th August, Time to Avoid Moon Sighting- 20:27 pm to 21:02 pm
On 25th August, Time to Avoid Moon Sighting- 09:29 am to 21:41 pm

Ganesha Visarjan on Anant Chaturdashi Day

Auspicious Choghadiya Mahurat for Ganesha Visarjan

Morning Mahurat (Char, Labh, Amrit) – 09:32 am – 14:11 pm
Afternoon Mahurat (Shubh) = 15:44 pm – 17:17 pm
Evening Mahurat (Labh) = 20:17 pm – 21:44 pm
Night Mahurat (Shubh, Amrit, Char) = 23:11 pm