Posted by : Sandeep September 18, 2012
Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival celebrating the birth of elephant headed deity, Ganehsa. Ganesha (also known as Ganapati, Lambodara) is a deity governing the obstacles and wisdom. The deity has a very significant place in any rituals that are done in India. Before starting any new venture, it has been the tradition to do puja of Ganehsa. Ganesha would save from obstacles.
The festival of Ganesha falls in the month of September usually, in the month of Bhadrapad according to Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the waxing moon period. The celebration lasts for ten days maximum culminating on the eleventh day as Ananth Chaturdashi. Idol of Ganesha would be installed on the first day followed by puja. Earlier people used to install clay idols. Now, plaster of Paris idols are available. People buy the idols from the local artisans. Every day puja would be done to Ganesha as long as he stays. Some keep him for two, some other for four days. On the decided day the idol would be immersed in water. Ganesha idols would be installed privately at homes, or, by forming into groups one may install Ganesha in public. The freedom fighter ‘Balagangadhar Tilak’ started community processions during Ganesha festival to spread the sense of unity among Indians. People would form into different groups and install their community Ganesha. They would arrange entertainment program on each day. The Ganesha idol would be immersed by taking a procession.
Ganesha is known as Goddess Parvati’s creation. Stories tell that he is fond of sweets, especially dumplings (‘Modak). So, Modaks would be prepared at homes to appease the deity. Ganesha would be installed in a ‘Mantap’ (on a small stage). The mantaps would be decorated with flowers and lighting. Ganesha idols in various sizes would be installed. On the day of installation (on Chaturthi), it is said that one should not look at moon. Even outside the country this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. There is a need to create awareness among the devotees about the eco friendly idols of Ganesha since the plaster of Paris idols are not environment friendly and the idols should not be immersed in public wells that are used for drinking purpose.