Indian Festival | Ganesh Chaturthi | Ganpati (2016)

Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganpati is being celebrated from 5 - 15 September 2016.

Source

About Ganesh Chaturthi

Lord Ganesha (Ganesh) or Ganpati is one of the most revered deities in the Hindu religion.

Ganpati, Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed deity is the God of wisdom and prosperity. He is also known for removing obstacles and his blessings are invoked before beginning any auspicious venture.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of August or September, all over India but the greatest fervour is seen the states of Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.

Ganeshotsav is also celebrated in Nepal and by Hindus wherever they are in the world.

Ganpati Idol Making

The Celebrations

Ganesh Chaturthi festival is a 10 day celebration; the final day - the 10th day - culminating on the Anant Chaturdashi day when the idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in a body of water.

This festival was started by Chatrapati Shivaji, a Maratha King. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly called Lokmanya Tilak, a Maratha politician and a nationalist, transformed this festival, from a privately held smaller festival, into a publicly celebrated state and national festival.

At various places and areas in each city, associations and organisations were formed that pool their resources, collect funds from the common man, shopkeepers and business houses and hold these celebrations on a grand scale.

Preparations for this festival start a couple of months before the festival. Idols of Lord Ganesha of all sizes are being made by artisans and kept ready for purchase by people before the actual festival starts. Some of these idols are as tall as 10 to 20 meters.

The smaller idols are purchased by those who wish to keep Lord Ganesha in their homes while the larger idols are installed at specific areas in the neighbourhood. Traditionally, these idols are made of clay but are now being made from plaster of Paris; though since recent times, with the increased awareness of going green, many people have started making idols of biodegradable materials.

These huge Lord Ganesha idols are installed in pandals or mandaps (pavilions), specially erected temporarily for this purpose. The installation is done on the Ganesh Chaturthi day, that is, the first day of the festival. The mandaps are colorfully decorated with lights, flowers and religious themes.

Prayers are performed along with singing of devotional songs and sweets are offered to Lord Ganesha. Religious music is also heard blaring from publicly installed loudspeakers.

Ganpati Procession

Ganesh idol being taken for immersion in a procession
Ganesh idol being taken for immersion in a procession | Source

Ganpati Visarjan (Immersion) Day

Ganpati visarjan(immersion) in the Arabian sea, in Mumbai
Ganpati visarjan(immersion) in the Arabian sea, in Mumbai | Source

Ganpati Visarjan Day

Another view of visarjan
Another view of visarjan | Source

The Visarjan (Immersion) Day


Ganesha visarjan is done on the 3rd, 5th, 7th or 10th day with the 10th day being the biggest day.


The fervor of this festival is at its zenith in Mumbai; the commercial capital of India. On the day of visarjan of these idols; all idols whether kept at home or in a public place are immersed in water. These idols are taken in huge processions on colorfully decorated floats and lorries (trucks). All roads leading to the sea beaches are jam packed with the sea of humanity that finally descends onto these beaches.

Visarjan starts off in the afternoon and goes on late into the night. It is a magnificent sight to behold thousands of Ganesha idols being immersed into the sea waters. The procession is accompanied by music,dance and devotional songs. Chants of "Ganpati Bappa moriya, pudcha varshi laukar ya", meaning " O Lord Ganesha, come again early next year".

In Mumbai, the largest idol is installed at Lalbagh and Lord Ganesh is often referred to as "LalBagh Cha Raja" meaning "The King of LalBagh".

The Legend Of Ganesh Chaturthi


The story of the birth of Lord Ganesha is fascinating.

Legend has it that Parvati (Lord Ganesha's mother) created a human figure, manas putra, from the sandalwood dough she used for her bath and breathed life into it. Shen then asked manas putra to keep a watch outside while she bathed and not allow anyone in.

When Lord Shiva came, he was stopped by manas putra from going in, as he did not know who Lord Shiva was (Lord Shiva as Parvati's husband). Angered, Lord Shiva beheaded manas putra.

When Parvati came to know about this she asked Lord Shiva to revive her son, manas putra. Lord Shiva then asked his servant to go outside and bring the head of the first living being he encountered. An elephant it was and the servant presented its head to Lord Shiva who affixed the head to the body of manas putra who was then on known as Ganesha.

Hence this day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha and called Ganpati, Ganesh Chaturthi, Vinayaka Chaturti or Ganeshotsav.
Lord Ganesh is also called Vinayak sometimes.

Modak - The Favorite Sweet Of Lord Ganesh

modaks ,the white sweets in the forefront
modaks ,the white sweets in the forefront | Source

About Modak



The main sweet during this festival is Modak - a dumpling made of rice or wheat flour with a filling of fresh or dry grated coconuts, jaggery, dry fruits and condiments. It is either steam cooked or fried.

Other sweets like laddoos of different types, karanji, puran poli etc are also prepared.

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Ganpati Visarjan (Immersion) Procession

Ganpati Visarjan Video

Modak Sweet Recipe

Whole Wheat Ganpati Laddoo

Laddoo Recipe For Ganesh Chaturti

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 19 comments

Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

Great article explaining the Elephant God's celebration.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Angelo. I'm glad you liked the hub.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Learned something new and interesting this morning plus some interesting recipes. Photos are great and as always a great hub. Vote UP.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for the read and votes, Carol. Appreciate the visit.


Gayatrirk3 profile image

Gayatrirk3 4 years ago from India

Amazing hub....voted up..


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Gayatri,

I'm glad you liked this hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

This is my favorite Hindu god but was unfamiliar with this festival. I'm wondering if this has happened yet for the year -- if it hasn't, maybe they'll be celebrating it at my local Indian community center and I can attend. Voting this Up and Interesting.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Aurelio, this festival will be celebrated on the 19th of September. So there is time yet for you to attend the celebrations. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for visiting.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 4 years ago from Tasmania

Thank you Rajan for this Hub. .... most interesting. It reminds me of a visit to Ganeshpuri in 1984 (Baba Muktananda's Ashram, but he had taken Mahasemadi a short time before).


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for reading and appreciating the hub. This hub, like many of my previous ones, is a way of sharing a bit about various Hindu religious celebrations.

Your visit is appreciated.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Great article on a wonderful celebration. Enjoyed reading.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Nithya, I'm glad you liked it.

Thank you.


DeviousOne profile image

DeviousOne 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Very interesting article and informative too. I don't seem to understand why Ganesh is seen to have four arms though. Are you able to include that in your article?


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi David,

The 4 arms of Lord Ganesh are symbolic of the four inner attributes of the subtle body, that is, mind (Manas), intellect (Buddhi), ego (Ahamkara), and conditioned conscience (Chitta). Lord Ganesha represents the pure consciousness - the Atman - which enables these four attributes to function in us.

I hope this clarifies this point.

Idols of various Hindu deities are shown with varying number of arms all symbolic of the various attributes or qualities of the deity.

I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

One of the informative hubs from your engaging festival hub series! Here in Tamil Nadu, we celebrated this important festival with much fervour. I grew up hearing and reading wonderful stories about Lord Ganesha, one of the most widely worshipped gods of India. A well-written and well-formatted hub! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Ishwaryaa. Happy ganesh Chaturthi to you too! Thanks for reading and sharing.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

What a fascinating hub...another tradition we have learned about from you. The photos add much to your hub and are in themselves interesting. Great job!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 4 years ago from Ohio

Very interesting. And presented in an understandable way. This remings me of the feast days that the Catholics have. I was raised Roman Catholic (and Italian) and I remember going to festivals like the Feast of Saint Anthony. It is fascinating to me the similarities among religions that people think are so different.When you really study them I think various faiths are more the same than not.

Thank you for another great hub.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ tillsontitan - I'm glad you like this information about the traditional cultural festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a very colorful festival especially the visarjan.

Thanks for taking out time to read and I appreciate your fine comments.

Thank you.

@ Dana - I absolutely agree. The interpretations handed over to us, more so in the cases of religions whose texts its followers are not well versed with, are the main reasons for made made conflicts and people going off at tangents with each other in respect of religions.

All religions teach peace, love, service, forgiveness and humility, as its basic tenets. Unfortunately, these very attributes are missing in most of those that are its leaders today.

Thanks for your fine comments and also for sparing time to read.

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