Ganesha Chaturthi is a famous Hindu festival also known by the name of Vinayaka Chaturthi; it is celebrated by Hindus as a tribute to their God of wisdom and origins “God Ganesha” and is believed to be the birthday of Ganesha. This charming Hindu festival lasts for 10 days and is usually celebrated in the mid days of August and September. Shukla Chaturthi being the 1st day marks the start of this festival while as Anant Chaturthi is the 10thday and marks the end of the festival Ganesha Chaturthi.
With the commencement of this festival, the Hindu markets get buzzed with the creative and colourful clay models of God Ganesha and people start buying and installing these models at their homes and momentary shrines to celebrate the birthday of Ganesha. The statues of Ganesha are made of variable sizes which could be smaller as well as can exceed to more than 25 feet in size. By brining the image of Ganesha to their homes, Hindus believe that this act signifies the existence of Ganesha on this planet Earth.
The Hindu Priest dressed in red and white dhoti along with shawl recites holy mantras and enlightens the presence of Ganesha. This holy ritual of reciting mantras is known as Pranapratishtha which is followed by the honouring of God Ganesha in 16 ways known as Shhodashopachara. After the few edible items including jiggery, coconut, etc are offered before Lord Ganesha and the clay model of Ganesha is rubbed with red material composed of sandalwood and KumKum.
During this act, priest recites few holy verses from few of the authentic Holy books of Hindus including “Rig Veda”, Ganesha stotra, Ganapati Atharva Shrisha Upanishad, etc. Hindus ritually submerge the herbal elements used during this occasion in the water channel which could be a river or a lake and believe that it purifies the water and makes it safe for drinking and other purposes without any threat of diseases.
God Ganapati is worshipped by Hindus for 10 days continuously and at the end on the 11th day, the image of Ganesha is immersed in water body and huge crowd accompanies Ganesha towards the water body singing and dancing along with recitation of “Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” which literary means “O Father Ganesha, come early again next year”. At the ending ritual, Ganesha is offered with camphor, coconuts and flowers.
Although this grand festival is celebrated by Hindus all over India but the grandest way of celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi is found in Maharashtra followed by Telangana and Karnataka. Besides being celebrated in India, it is also celebrated by Hindus in Nepal, U.S, Malaysia, Canada, Trinidad, Burma and other different parts of the world. During this occasion, Hindu people from all over the world worship Ganesha in beautifully decorated tents and free checkups, blood donations and good deeds like that are often seen to take place during this festival.
The religious stories of Hindu religion connected with God Ganesha are exclusively narrated during the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi.