Ganesh Chaturthi in India is not only a festival but is an emotion that brings the country together with great enthusiasm.
About Ganpati celebrations
Also popularly known as the Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is a festival celebrated by the Hindus in India and abroad as the arrival of Lord Ganesha to the earth from their abode on the Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas along with their mother Goddess Parvati. The festival begins with the installation of the idol of Ganesha that is made of clay or other material as per the capacity of the worshipper. The installation of the idols is done privately by the individual families in their house.
Vinayak Chaturthi 2020 in India
At some places, the installation of the idols is done in elaborate public pandals by different organizations or societies. The installation of the idols is done while chanting of the Vedic Hymns and the various Hindu texts such as the bhajans and kirtans and fasting. Offerings of the Prasad is done on a daily basis at the completion of prayers. The Prasad includes the sweets and fruits and different preparations by the devotees. The main offering is of the sweet called modakas, which is considered to be the favorite of Lord Ganesha.
The festival ends on the tenth day of fasting when the idol is carried in a public procession with music, dance, and chanting and is then immersed in a water body nearby such as a lake or a river or the sea. In Mumbai alone, there are about 1,50000 statues that are immersed annually during the festival. Thereafter the clay idols dissolve in the water and the Lord Ganesha is believed to have returned to his abode the Mt. Kailash along with his mother the Goddess Parvati.
Ganesh Chaturthi all across the country
The festival celebrates Lord Ganesh, the God of all new beginnings and the remover of all obstacles from our life as is believed by the Hindu mythology, he is also known as the God of all intelligence and knowledge. The festival is observed throughout India in states such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telengana, Odisha, Bengal and other states of the country.
Although it is unknown that when first in India the Ganesh Chaturthi was observed or celebrated. But the festival is believed to be celebrated in the city of Pune since the rule of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha empire after the British Raj in India.
The Ganesh festival lost its patronage as a public festival and became a private festival in the state of Maharashtra until its revival by the Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak.
A moment of pomp and show
According to the much-learned persons such as Kaur, the festival later became a public event in 1892 when Bhausaheb Laxman Jvale installed the first public Ganesh idol in the city of Pune.
In 1893 Lokmanya Tilak praised the installation of the public idol of Ganesh in his newspaper Kesari as the first sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav in those times.
He also declared it as the most successful sarvajanik event in those times. Tilak recognized lord Ganesh as the God of everybody who blesses each and everyone who worshipped him. He also believed that Lord Ganesha was the only God that bridged the gap between the local Brahmins and the non-brahmins in those days and the days to come. Thereby building a grassroots to the unity in the country to oppose the movement of freedom during the British Raj.
In India, basically the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the form of a private affair as well as on a larger public event in many parts of India.
They include the western states, the eastern states, the southern states, the northern states, and the central states of the country.
At the Varasidhi Vinayak Swamy Temple in Kanipakkam, Andhra Pradesh, annual brahmotsawams are celebrated for a stretch of 21 days starting from Vinayak Chavithi day. The procession of the idol of the lord will be taken throughout the city on different vahanas. During these days a number of pilgrimages is witnessed by the city.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra
At their homes in the state of Maharashtra, the devotees install the idol of the God and decorate the place in their own capacity and strength.
The idol is worshipped in the morning and the evening and offerings of flowers and sweets are done and after the payers. The devotees distribute the prasadam to all those present and around in the neighborhood. The worship ends by singing the arati of the God Ganesha and blessings are sought after by God.