Ganesh Chaturthi 2024

7 September 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival that is celebrated for ten days. It marks the birth of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha, the god of prosperity and wisdom. It begins on the fourth day, hence the name Chaturthi, of the month of Bhadrapada falling in August or September, the sixth month of the Hindu Calendar.

At the commencement of the festival, idols of Ganesha are placed on high platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor pandals or tents. The worship rituals begin with the pranapratishtha, a ritual to invoke life in the idols, followed by shhodashopachara, or the 16 ways of paying tribute to gods. Amid the chanting of hymns or mantras from religious texts like the Ganesh Upanishad, the idols are marked with red sandalwood paste and yellow and red flowers. Ganesha is also offered coconut, jaggery, and 21 Modaks which considered to be Ganeshas favourite food. To conclude this ten-day long festival, the idols are carried to local rivers in huge processions accompanied by drumbeats, devotional singing, and dancing. Then they are immersed in rivers and running water to mark Ganeshs homeward journey to his parents, Shiva and Parvati.

Ganesh Chaturthi became popular during the rule of Shivaji on the Maratha empire. He used this festival to ignite nationalist sentiments in Marathas who were fighting against the Mughals. Hence, this festival is celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm in Maharashtra and Western India. People treat Ganpati like their family member and make his meals and treat the idol with utmost hospitality for ten days. Various fairs and events are organized across Maharashtra. It is a joyous occasion that promotes peach, harmony and brotherhood among all.