Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav is a very famous hindu festival being celebrated on the occasion of Lord Ganesha birthday who is a symbolised as the god of wisdom, prosperity, wisdom, auspiciousness and good fortune.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of the Shukla Paksha (Waxing Phase of moon) of Bhadrapada month as per Hindu calendar generally in the month of August or September and continues till 10 days and ends on the Anant Chaturdasi the 14th day of the month.
When is Ganesh Chaturthi / Ganesh Utsav in 2015 ?
In 2015, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on 17th September and Anant Chaturasi will be celebrated on 27th September 2015.
In India this festival is celebrated on a large scale, specially in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka. Not only Hindus but many other religions also participate in the celebration like Muslims, Jains, Christian and others.
Ledgend About Ganesh Chaturthi :
Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Godesess Parvati with a elephant head because of which he is also known as “Gajraj”. It is believed that on this day Lord Ganesha was blessed with super powers by all the God and Goddesses and his father Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations :
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations started in the period of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja in the 17th century, the great Maratha ruler and further in the 19th century Lokmanya Tilak started a large-scale celebration of this festival in order to “to bridge the gap between Brahmins and ‘non-Brahmins’.
Devotees also build pandals at various public places and place huge Ganesha idols. All the Ganesha Temple are also enlighten and decorated with flowers during this festival.
To celebrate this festival in their home, people decorate their houses with flowers, light, etc and bring idols of Lord Ganesha for a day or three days or five days or seven days or ten days as per their wish or as per the family tradition at their home and perform special prayers, hymns and sing songs to praise Lord Ganesha.
Some of the famous Lord Ganesh Aarti Include –
- Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Deva
- Om Jai Jagadish Hare
- Sukh Karta Dukh Harta
Many people also chant 108 Times Ganesh Mantra.. Om Gan Ganapataye Namo Namah.
Coconut, jaggery, 21 modakas, 21 durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered Lord Ganesha which are been distributed among the people as “Prashad”. It is said that the most favorite sweet of Lord Ganesha is the modak or modakam or kudumu or modaka or modagam.
Then on the last day i.e; Ananta Chaturdasi all the installed idols are immersed in the sea or any other water body with huge procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare and saying “Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhachya Varshi Laukar ya” (O lord Ganesha, come again early next year). This ceremony is known as Ganesh Visarjan or Vinayaka Nimarjana.
Some famous Ganesh Pandals :
Some of the famous Ganesh Sarvajanik Pandals where lakhs of devotees visit to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha are – Lalbaug Ka Raja of Mumbai, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati of Pune, Siddhivinayak Temple Ganpati of Mumbai, etc.
Eco friendly Ganesh Idols :
Originally, the Ganesha idols were made out of earthen natural clay which on immersion dissolved back into the earth. But now a day with the increase in the commercial impact on the festival, the Ganesha idols are made from plaster of Paris (POP). These idols are light weight, cheap and more attractive. However such Idols pollution when dissolved in water as in the dissolving process plaster of Paris releases toxic elements into the water body and the paint used on it also contain chemical and heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. If one Idol causes so much of pollution then it can easily calculated that how much pollution is caused by such a huge number of immersion.
There are a few solutions to this problem like; Eco friendly Ganesh Idols, Original way of making idols with clay, Ban on the immersion of plaster icons into lakes, rivers and the sea, Recycling of plaster icons to repaint them and use them again the following year, Encouraging people to immerse the icons in tanks of water rather than in natural water bodies, etc.