Ganesh Chaturthi, a popular Hindu festival, is celebrated by the Indian people as the birthday of the Lord Ganesha. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born on the 4th day of the fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. Hence, his birth anniversary celebration is known as Ganesh Chaturthi. According to the Hindu calendar, it falls every year in the month of Bhaadrapada (between August and September). Everyone celebrates this festival together annually with full devotion and dedication. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated for a period of 11 days, it starts on Shukla Chaturthi (means on 4th day of waxing moon period) and ends after 10 days on the Anant Chaturdashi (means on 14th day of waxing moon period).
The celebrations that were earlier a private homely affair was brought to a public domain by Bal Gangadhar Tilak during the Indian Independence struggle to unite the people of India. People host and worship Ganesha in their homes as well various ‘pandals’ are kept in public areas, so people who cannot host Ganesha can still come forward and immerse in the devotion of Ganesha during this holy period.
Usually, large Ganpati idols are kept in public ‘pandals’ which are usually immersed on Anant Chaturdashi – 11 days after the first day of the Ganesh festival. However, many people who keep a Ganesha in their homes choose to perform the immersion much before this. There are no hard and fast rules as to when it’s done. Rather it’s up to personal preference. However, the immersions do follow a schedule and are only performed on selected days. This year the days are:
- Sthapna of Ganesha Idol – August 25, 2017
- One and half day Ganesh Visarjan – August 26, 2017
- Three days Ganesh Visarjan – August 27, 2017
- Five days Ganesh Visarjan – August 29, 2017
- Seven days Ganesh Visarjan – August 31, 2017
- Seven days Gauri Visarjan — August 31, 2017
Gauri idols, commonly taken home and worshiped along with Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra on Gauri Avahan (on August 29, 2017) will be immersed on this day. Goddess Gauri is another name for Goddess Parvati, the mother of Lord Ganesh.
- Anant Chaturdashi last and biggest day of Ganesh Visarjan – September 5, 2017
All Indian festivals, beneath the aspect of delight and celebration, hold the underlying essence or the spirit which has to be captured to grasp the eternal truth. So it is with Ganesha Chaturthi. Religiously speaking, the immersion (Visarjan) is a send-off of Ganesha to Kailash. On a philosophical level, it can be said that we give a shape to “God” – that which is infinite and formless – through the Earth’s clay and mud, invite and worship this form in our homes, and then release this image back into the water to become formless once again. The immersion of the idols in the ocean, or other bodies of water, and subsequent destruction of them serves as a reminder of this belief. It also recognizes that the universe is in a constant state of change. Form eventually gives away to formlessness. Every year Ganesha comes to make us sure about the Supreme Truth of life.
So this year let’s welcome the Lord in our homes and our hearts to bless us and remove all our obstacles. And in case you cannot bring home the elephant-headed God, download the Ganesh Bhakti app to keep your devotion alive. With the Ganesh Bhakti app, you can watch videos of real Ganesh Pooja’s and select the Aarti’s you would like to listen to with it. You can also select the time you would like to perform the Pooja each day! So be a part of this festive season in your own way now…
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