Ganesha Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav (“festival of Ganesha”) also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
It is a ten day festival which starts on Ganesha Chaturthi on shukla paksha chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period) of Bhaadrapada month and ends on Anant Chaturdashi i.e; on shukla paksha chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period) of the same month of Hindu calendar.
According to Hindu’s Lord Ganesha is the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
It is said that on this day Lord Shiva gave an elephant head to his son Ganesha because of which Ganesha is also known as Gajraj. Lord Ganesha declared as superior to all the gods and other gods blessed him with many boons.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations :
This festival is celebrated all over India, but the celebrations are most elaborate in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa. During this festival, statues of Lord Ganesha are in installed in street corners (pandals) and in homes and elaborated decorations done with lighting, flowers, mirrors etc. Poojas (prayer services) are performed daily.
These statues are then carried on decorated floats to be immersed in the sea after one, three, five, seven and ten days.
Anant Chaturdashi :
Anant Chaturdashi is the last day of the 10 days Ganesh festival. It is celebrated on 14th day of the bright fortnight Shukla paksha of Bhadrapad month in the Hindu calendar. On this day all the Ganesh Idols are immerse in near by water bodies.
Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea. The idols are also immersed in rivers, lakes, ponds, etc.
These processions are accompanied by drum beats, devotional songs and dancing and people chanting “Ganpati Bappa Morya”.
While immersing the idol, people say “Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya” which means hey Lord Ganesha, please return next year soon.
This festival is also celebrated outside India especially in Nepal, United States, Canada, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Fiji.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Anant Chaturdashi 2016 Dates :
In 2016, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on 5th September 2016.
In 2016, Anant Chaturdashi will be celebrated on 15th September 2016.