Ganesha Chaturthi (also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Gaṇesha Chaturthi, Vināyaka Chavithi, Pillayar Chaturthi, Ganeshotsav, Varasindhi vinayaka pooja or Lambodara pirnalu) is pooja celebration for God Ganesh
2015 date was 17th September.
2016 date falls on 5th September
Ganesh is god of hurdles prayed to remove all hurdles before every program, event, project or study and infact Ganesh is revered beginning of everything. Popular across India and celebrated worldwide with fervor. By praying Ganesh one gets Sidhi or success, hence called Sidhi Vinayak.
This is a very auspicious day celebrated to pray to the god so that every new activity that is started is successfully completed without any obstacles (Vighna = Obstacle).
- Held on the 4th day of Bhadrapada (August-September) Shukla Chaturthi in the month of
- Families celebrate at home, places of work and Ganesh pandals are setup in public place to celebrate worship in group.
- At home, image made by clay or any other disposal material is installed and worshipped. The festival lasts from 3 to 11days and on the last day taken out in procession and immersed in tank, river, lake or any water source.
- The idols must be made of clay (matti Vinayakudu) and natural colors as they need to dissolve in water and to avoid environmental pollution
- Gowri (Goddess Parvati – mother of Ganesh) Pooja festival precedes Ganesha Chaturthi, and people across the state wish each other well.
Teams/societies collect funds and organize pandals with spirit and enthusiasm. Some organize music system for the whole days with prayers in the morning and evening by priest/pandit.
- Previous day or same day go out and get Ganesh idol made of clay, collect all varieties with count of 21 leaves (patri), flowers (pushpam), fruits (phalam)
- Cook 21 varieties of sweets mainly Kudumulu, udrallu (made of rice flour), zilledu kayalu (rice flour paste covering coconut and jaggey laskoora coked in cooker without whistle), Basin laddu (made of gram flour sweet).
- Make palavelli (small umberella cover for Ganesh) and decorate it with all leaves, flowers, and lights.
- Gruhastu (house holder) or priest performs a Prana Pratishtha to invite Ganesha into the idol, followed by the Shodashopachara (16 services) sevas, reciting hymns from Vedas, Ganapati Atharvashirsa, the Upanishads, Ganesha stotra (prayer).
- Aarti performed all food items naivedyam offered during Pooja. If idol is to be removed same day then udvasana (good bye and come again next year) is said and idol and Pooja material is collected to immerse in water. If the idol is to be kept for more days then udvasana is said on the last day along with utti kottadam and Annadanam service to all participants.
- Vinayaka Katha (Story) reading and listening is important of the Pooja.
- At the end of the Pooja Prasadam is offered.
Government and social organizations are against use of plaster of paris and other chemicals which contaminate and spoil water sources.
- Idols are to be made of natural clay for safe environment.
- Advised to make smaller idols to reduce problems in management and easy visarjan
- Youth groups in many associations for Ganesh Utsav Committees and orgnise funds collection and Pandal management.
- Generally huge idols are installed for Pooja and attract more public and organize religious/cultural programs
- Modak (modakam, kudumu, kadubu, kozhakatta, modakkam, kozhukattai, modagam in various regions, Karanji, Kajjikaya or Nevri). A modak is a dumpling made from rice or wheat flour, stuffed with grated coconut, jaggery, dried fruits and other condiments and steamed or fried.
- Vundrallu (steamed, coarsely-ground rice-flour balls),
- Panakam (a jaggery, black pepper- and cardamom-flavored drink),
- Vadapappu (soaked moong lentils) and
- Chalividi (a cooked rice flour and jaggery mixture)
- Jaggery and Milk
- All above offered as naivedyam and general count is 21 each.
Visarjan, Immersion through procession
- Shivaji (1630–1680) founder of the Maratha Empire) patroned well during their regime.
- Peshwas (administrators) of the empire encouraged from 1718 till 1818
- Bhausaheb Laxman Javale (Bhau Rangari) introduced in 1892 in Maharashtra as public festival, who installed the first public Ganesha idol after he met with Balasaheb Natu and Krishnajipant Khasgiwale at his home.
- 1893 Lokamanya Tilak revived Ganesh celebrations and praised Sarvajanik Ganesha utsav in his newspaper, Kesari
- Tilak popularized Ganesha festival as “the god for everybody” to “bridge the gap between Brahmins and ‘non-Brahmins’ and to build a grassroots unity between them”.
- Tilak was the first to install large Ganesha images in pavilions, and established the practise of submerging the idols in rivers, the sea or other bodies of water on the tenth day of the festival.
Save Environment from pollution
- Idols made of Plaster of Paris (POP) may take months to years to fully dissolve, reduces the oxygen level in the water, killing the aqua life like fish and other organisms.
- Avoid synthetic paints as they contain heavy metals like mercury, lead etc, raising water pollution levels.
- Dumping carelessly: Avoid Pooja material like plastic flowers, decoration material etc. to dump everywhere as it clogs the drainage flows of water, resulting in mosquito & pest breeding.
- Reuse the loved idols every year and treat sacredly in Pooja mandaps.
- Use idols made of biodegradable materials, metal or stone.