Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival that celebrates the bird of Lord Ganesha. Huge processions carrying a statue of Lord Ganesha is a common practice on this day.
|Saturday||22 August 2020||Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh|
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Ganesh Chaturthi Holidays 2021-2028
The following table outlines the schedule of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival for the next 10 years:
|Friday||10 September 2021||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Wednesday||31 August 2022||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Tuesday||19 September 2023||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Saturday||7 September 2024||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Wednesday||27 August 2025||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Monday||14 September 2026||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Saturday||4 September 2027||Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Wednesday||23 August 2028||Ganesh Chaturthi|
Ganesh Chaturthi / Ganesh Puja is majorly a national festival, which is marked with the installation of Ganesh clay idols both publicly and privately. The festival celebrates Lord Vinayaka or Ganesh as the God of new beginnings and remover of hurdles. Lord Ganesh is worshipped for prosperity and knowledge.
History Of Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh can also be known by the names Heramba, Ekadanta, Ganapati, Vinayaka and Pillaiyar. Ganesh Chaturthi / Ganesh Puja is one of the widely celebrated Hindu festivals in the country. The blessings of this God are invoked at religious ceremonies since he is the one who can all difficulties to success, especially when people are commencing a new business or an enterprise. Lord Vinayaka is known as the fortune giver and one who can assist to avoid natural calamities. He is also the patron god of traveling. Vinayaka is portrayed with an elephant’s head on a human body. According to Hindu customs, Lord Ganesh is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
How Is Ganesh Chaturthi / Ganesh Puja Celebrated?
In a few parts of India such as Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh the festival of Ganesh is celebrated for ten days. It is a public occasion. Sweets are offered. On the day of the festival, clay idols of Vinayaka are installed in homes or outdoor in decorated tents for the public to view and submit their homage. Clay idols of Ganesh are also installed by schools and colleges.
Is Ganesh Chaturthi/Vinayaka Chaturthi a Public Holiday?
Ganesh Chaturthi is not a public holiday across India. It is a regional holiday that is celebrated only in certain states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Even in these states, it is not mandatory for an employer to declare the Ganesha Festival as a holiday.
Which States Celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi/Chavithi is celebrated with great pomp and show in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, and Karnataka. Other states that celebrate this festival are: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Delhi, and Punjab.
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What Rituals Are Observed for Vinayaka Chaturthi?
Though the festival is the same and has similar connotations across India, each region has slight variations in rituals and traditions. The celebrations last between 7 and 10 days at different places. A few common observances are:
- Installation of Ganapati statue: A statue of the Elephant God is installed on a pedestal either at home or in a public place with a pranprathishtha puja.
- Not looking at the moon: On the first night of the festival, people avoid looking at the moon because it is considered a bad omen.
- Prayers: Washing of the statue; puja with the chanting of shlokas and offerings of flowers and sweets; and aarti, i.e. circumlocution of the idol with a plate filled with a lit earthern/metal lamp, kumkum and flowers, is done. Prayer meetings are also conducted at Ganapati temples and public installations every day in the evenings and in some places, in the mornings as well.
- Special performances: Some public installations of Lord Ganesh might also have performances with dance, music, and skits.
- Making and eating modak: Modak is believed to be Ganapati’s favourite sweet. So, these dumplings are made and distributed as prasad during the festival. Other food items such as laddoo, barfi, pedha, and sundal are also distributed during this time.
- Visarjan: This is the immersion of the idol in a water body and is conducted on the last day – anywhere between the seventh and eleventh days – of the festival. It is accompanied by a procession of people chanting bhajans and shlokas and songs, with the idol. People seek forgiveness for the mistakes they have done so far and request the god to help them stay on the righteous path. Ganesha is thanked for visiting the home/locality, for being removing obstacles from people’s path, and for the auspiciousness he bestows.
The farewell procession, or Ganesh Visarjan, is the grand culmination of the festival. This is the celebration in which the installed idols of the god are immersed in a water body. The immersion might be done in the nearest pond, lake, river, or sea. Those who do not have access to a large water body might also do symbolic immersions in by dipping the idol in a small vessel or water barrel at home.
The idol is taken from the place of installation – home or public pandals – to the water body in a huge procession accompanied by devotees singing bhajans or songs. Depending on the size of the idol, it may be carried on the shoulders of either the head of the family or a symbolic head of the area, or taken on a wooden carrier, or in a vehicle.
All these proceedings are accompanied by chants of Ganapati bapa moriya, bhajans, dance, and distribution of prasad and flowers.
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Why Are Ganesha Statues Immersed in Water on the Last Day of the Festival?
Ganesh Visarjan symbolises the end of the festival as well as the fact that everything on Earth eventually merges with one or more of the elements of nature. It also indicates the birth cycle of Lord Vinayak – he was born from clay and returns to the elements in that form. In literal terms, he is going back to his heavenly abode after staying with his devotees for 7 to 10 days.
Destinations To Spend Ganesh Chaturthi Holidays 2020
The following are the top five Indian destinations to visit during Ganesh Chaturthi holidays 2020:
Mumbai: Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, celebrates the festival of Vinayaka Chaturthi with great enthusiasm and zeal. More than 6000 idols are commissioned every year. The festival is celebrated nationally, but the maximum grandeur is witnessed in the city of Mumbai. The celebration was promoted by Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler. The popular Ganesh Pandals in the city include Lalbaugcha Raja and KhetwadiGanraj.
Pune: Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, hosts one the best Vinayaka Chaturthi Celebrations in the country. The festival is the most joyful and colorful event in the cultural, religious and social life of Pune. The top five idols in Pune comprise of Kasba Ganpati, Tulsi Baug, Kesariwada Ganapathi, Guruji Talim and Jogeshwari Ganapathi.
Hyderabad: Like Pune and Mumbai, Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, is one of the popular destinations to witness the royal celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. Kharitabad hosts one of the biggest Ganesh idols in the nation. The Ganesh Utsav Committee in Kharitabad shall install the biggest Ganesh idol.
Goa: The festival of Ganesh holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Goa, the smallest state in India. It is an event of frolic and fun. Moreover, it shall bring about a reunification of families and friends. Various merchant associations install the idols of Lord Ganesh across the state.
Ganpatipule: Ganpatipule, a small city, has a series of vantage points and beaches offering some attractive views of the sea. The Swayambhu Ganapathi Temple of Ganapatipule is renowned for its unique idol of Lord Ganapati. This temple has been the center of festivities.
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