Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India SCFI
Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi on 12th September 2018

Ganesh Chaturthi Rituals

Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated on the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) and ends on the fourteenth day of the first fortnight (Anant Chaturdashi), during the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. In this festival, which is celebrated in the months of August or September (According to the Gregarian calendar), an elephant-headed Godis worshipped. This festival is also popularly called Vinayaka Cavithi, Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi. Many customs, traditions and rituals are observed during this festival.

Rituals of Ganesh Chaturthi:
  • Ritual Bath: The day begins with the worshippers taking a ritual bath and donning new clothes to perform the worship of Ganesha. Cleanliness and purity of the body and mind is a pre requisite for performing any kind of worship.
  • Arrival of Idol: The marvellous clay idol of Lord Ganesha arrives at the public pandals or home, with its face covered with a piece of saffron cloth.
  • Adorning of idol: The idol is safely placed on a pedestal and adorned with sandalwood paste and flower garlands.
  • Purna Kumbha Kalasha Sthapana: A brass pot containing rice is filled up with holy water.
  • Pranapratishtha: With the chanting of sanctified mantras, life is conjured into the clay idol.
  • Shhodashopachara: In this ritual, the worship of Lord Ganesha is done in sixteen ways. This ritual requires betel leaf, betel nut, 21 blades of dhruva grass, 21 modaks, incense sticks, sandalwood paste, and cotton wicks, sindur and camphor. The number 21 denotes the five organs of action, five essential pranas, and the five organs of perception, five elements and the mind.
  • Chanting of Hymns: Ganesh Chaturthi rituals are performed accompanied by chanting of slokas and mantras from Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad and Rig Veda. Along with this, Ganesha Stotra or devotional songs and slokas are sung and chanted from the Narada Purana.
  • Ashtottara Shatanamavali: The chanting of 108 names of Ganesha along with recitation of Ganesh Chaturthi katha takes place.
  • Arti: The Ganesh Chaturthi rituals conclude with the arti of Lord Ganesha. Arti is the ritual of worship in the Hindu religion where a sacred earthen lamp, the cotton wick of which is dipped in pure ghee, is circulated around the deity. The arti is performed twice a day during the morning and evening.
  • Seeking Blessings: After the completion of the worship, devotees offer fresh flowers prasad of laddus, pedas, charnamrit, modaks made up honey, ghee, milk and curd to Lord Ganesha. Finally the devotees seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha with utmost devotion, reverence and ask for forgiveness for any mistakes that might have occurred during performance of the rituals.
  • Visarjan: After the ten days of worship of Lord Ganesha, the idol is taken to a holy river for immersion. The idol is taken in a procession with a lot of pompous and grandeur and shouting of the slogan “Ganapati Bappa Morya”. With the immersion of the idol, the Ganesh Chaturthi rituals come to an end.

Hence to sum up, Ganesh Chaturthi rituals are strictly observed by devotees while performing the worship of Lord Ganesha for ten days. The grandeur of this festival is noticed in states like Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. During this festival, people sing devotional songs, dance, observe fasts, bedeck their houses, burst crackers and don new attires as part of the custom and traditions.

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