Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Get to know when is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated in 2018, Ganesh Chaturthi calendar and the number of days left for the festival.
|Sat||Sep 11||2010||Ganesh Chaturthi||Restricted Holiday|
|Mon||Sep 5||2016||Ganesh Chaturthi||Restricted Holiday|
|Fri||Aug 25||2017||Ganesh Chaturthi||Restricted Holiday|
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|Sat||Sep 22||2020||Ganesh Chaturthi||Restricted Holiday|
Ganesh Chaturthi, the spectacular festival which commemorates the birth of Lord Ganesh, is one of the most popular festivals in India. Lord Ganesha is known to be “Vighnaharta”, the lord who takes all your pains away. He is worshipped for his ability to remove obstacles and bring good fortune in life.
Ganesh Chaturthi is usually observed on the 4th day after the new moon in August or September. It is celebrated for a period of 11 days. The celebration ends on 12th day called as Ananta Chaturdasi.
This year Ganesh Chaturthi will begin on 12 September, Wednesday and end on 23 September, Sunday.
Ganesh Chaturthi, a day to honor Lord Ganesha, is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals and is celebrated by the community all across the country. However, the most elaborate festivities are organized in the state of Maharashtra. Ganpati Sthapana, the act of installing the idol at a suitable place, is one of the most important and spiritual moments associated with the festival.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day long festival and Ganesh Sthapana is usually performed on the first day of the festival. Lord Ganesha is believed to have been born at Madhyahna Kala, which according to the Hindu calendar denotes midday, and therefore Ganesh pooja is preferred to be performed at Madhyahna. This year, the best time to place the idol is between 12.30 pm to 1 pm. Devotees of Lord Ganesh perform Shodashopachara Ganapati pooja, which is a detailed and 16 step ritualistic pooja of the elephant-headed God.
The place where the idol is to be positioned must be chosen intelligently so as to ensure that people are able to view it during most of the times throughout the day. Before installing the idol, clean the place thoroughly, lay a cloth (preferably red colored) and spread some rice on the cloth. Thereafter, you can place the idol on the cloth. Once that is done, the idol, as well as the shrine, are embellished with majestic flowers and other items. The idols, which are installed in the home, may come in sizes of 3⁄4 inches, while those at big community celebrations may rise to a height of 70 feet.
Worshipers offer modaks, jaggery, coconut, red hibiscus flowers and other offerings to the idol of Lord Ganesha. During the ceremony, devotees also chant hymns and perform aartis in the morning and evenings along with their family and friends. Some of the popular Ganesh pooja Mantras sung by the devotees on this day are Ganesha Shubh Labh Mantra, Ganesha Gayatri Mantra, Vakratunda Ganesha Mantra among others.
On the Ganesh Chaturthi, the statue of Lord Ganesha is installed in homes, temples, and mandaps. The size of the idol may be as small as ¾ of an inch or as high as 25 feet.
The idols are elegantly decorated once they are installed.
Even the temples and mandaps are adorned with flowers and lights. Sometimes, theme-based decorations are used to give a unique look to the mandaps. Such themes include current events and religious issues.
When the rituals begin, the priest chants mantras to invoke life into the idol. This ritual is called the 'Pranapratishtha'. This ritual is followed by the 'Shhodashopachara' which includes the 16 ways of paying respect to Lord Ganesha.
There are certain offerings made to Lord Ganesha. These include coconut, jaggery and rice flour preparation. Besides, red flowers and 21 durva (trefoil) are also offered to the Lord. While these offerings are made, a red sandal paste is applied to the idol.
The Ganesh pooja involves the chanting of hymns from the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, Rig Veda and other religious scriptures. This continues for 10 days, and on the 11th day, the idol of Ganesha is immersed in a river or sea.
The devotees actually take the idol through the streets, thus singing, dancing and shouting 'Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya' which means that the Lord should come back next year.
On the Ganesh Chaturthi, people usually get up early in the morning and take a bath so that they can proceed toward the temple to offer their prayers to Lord Ganesha. The devotees offer coconut, sweet pudding, and other items when they visit the temples or perform the Ganesh Chaturtha rituals at their homes.
A popular tradition followed on the 1st day of Ganesh Chaturthi is to avoid looking at the moon on that day and pray to God to give you spiritual strength, so that you succeed in your endeavors.
On this special day, there are processions held to enjoy the festival. There's loud music on the streets with people dancing to religious songs. You may participate in the Dance Ganesh, a huge procession that starts from the Mahalaxmi Temple Compound in Central Mumbai and reaches up to the seafront.
The entire ambience turns lively with religious songs, trendy music, drum beats, and dances of devotees.There are lights, lasers, fireworks, and much more to add to the festive spirit.
On the Ganesh Chaturthi, you'll find local communities competing with each other to install the best statue and have the best mandap decorations.
The Indians residing abroad celebrate this festival with a lot of enthusiasm. In the U.S., the Swayamsevak Sangh (an organization of the Hindus) plans events and activities to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha.
In the UK, the Hindu culture and Heritage Society based in Southall, London has been celebrating the Ganesh Chaturthi since 2005. The members of the Society perform the puja at the Vishwa Hindu Temple. Another celebration of the Ganesh Chaturthi is held on River Mersey at Liverpool, UK.
The celebrations in Canada are organized by various Marathi associations residing in Toronto and Vancouver.
f you're interested in observing this festival at home, well, then you may perform a pooja on your own or invite a priest to do the same. A traditional pooja of Ganesha will be most satisfying for you if you're a true devotee of the Lord.
Since the Ganesh Chaturthi calls for celebrations, you may invite your dear ones to attend the pooja at your home. You may cook exciting recipes like the Modak, Pooran Poli, and Sundal. The Modak is a popular sweet dish, especially prepared by the South Indians on the Ganesh Chaturthi. It is made from rice flour and ingredients like dry fruits, dry-grated coconut, and jaggery. Another interesting recipe is the Karanji which tastes similar to the Modak.
The Ganesh Chaturthi is observed with the belief that the Lord will offer his blessings and bring good luck to his devotees. It is considered as a special event for artists and businessmen. Budding artists get the chance to display their work of art during this festival. The businessmen believe that the Lord will bless them with good fortune. Everyone observes this festival with the belief that good luck and success will come their way forever and always. So, celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi 2018 and let the Lord bless you with good luck and prosperity.
Last Updated: 1st August, 2018