Ganesh Chaturthi, a popular Hindu festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is celebrated all over India, especially in Maharashtra. This is a ten day festival beginning on the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) and ending on the fourteenth day of the waxing moon period (Anant Chaturdashi) in the month of Bhadrapada (mid-August-mid September). Ganesh Chaturthi significance is that the festival celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed Godof wealth, good fortune and harmony.Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi:
Ganesh Chaturthi significance is that the festival was started by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a brave, warrior king and founder of the Marathi Empire. The Peshwas encouraged the worship and celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in their state capital Pune, as Ganesha was their family god. With the fall of the Peshwas, this festival lost the state patronage and became a homely celebration. Finally this celebration was revived again as a state affair by the freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak who used it as a tool to spread the message of freedom and gain public support during the national movement for freedom in India. As a result, it is celebrated with a lot of vigour, enthusiasm and glory in the state of Maharashtra.
Popularly known to be the God of prosperity and fortune, Lord Ganesha’s image is printed on invitation cards for wedding ceremonies. The Ganesha idols are stationed at the entrance of houses to allow positive vibrations to enter the house and bring good luck to the inhabitants.
Ganesh Chaturthi significance lies in worshipping a deity with a head of an elephant. This elephant head symbolizes immense wisdom which is brought about by “manana” or independent thinking or reflection. In turn “manana” is brought about by the process of “shravana” or intake of spiritual knowledge which is depicted by the deity’s huge ears. The well-developed trunk of the lord depicts wisdom and symbolizes intellect of a perfectionist. Lord Ganesha is believed to ride on a mouse which signifies trouncing the ego. The food served at the lord’s feet symbolizes material wealth and power. The things in the hand of Ganesha, such as rope signify spiritual knowledge, axe symbolizes annihilation of desire, modak is for happiness and the lotus stands for the divine state of self-realization.Importance of Ganesh Chaturthi:
Ganesh Chaturthi, along with its religious aspect, is also a very economic event and is celebrated with a lot of grandiosity throughout India. The festival commences with the cleaning and decoration of houses. Marvellous clay idols are constructed by artisan months before the festival begins.
Rituals of the festival include chanting slokas, mantras, devotional songs, arti and so on. Arti is the circulation of an earthen lamp by the priest and it is done with utmost devotion to pay reverence to the deity. Modak and Karanji are the popular festival food. Modak is a preparation made of steamed rice flour parcels containing a stuffing of jaggery, dessicted coconut and dry fruits.The other delicacies of this festival are Paavasam, Pedha, Badam barfi, Sabudana, laddoo, Puliyodarai (tamarind rice) and so on.The festivities which includedances, theatrical performances, songs, bursting of crackers and so on, all come to an end with the immersion of Lord Ganesha idol in holy river, lakes etc..
Ganesh Chaturthi significance lies in worshipping the God of power and wisdom to invoke his blessings in order to attain spiritual knowledge, wisdom and success in all endeavours. Ganesh Chaturthi is observed nationwide for prosperity and good fortune.