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  • 9/9/13 Ganesh Chaturthi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 1/8

    Ganesh Chaturthi

    Observed by Hindus

    Type Religious, folk

    Begins Bhadrapada shukla chaturthi

    Ends Anant Chaturdashi

    Date August/September

    2012 date 19 September

    2013 date 9 September

    Celebrations Setting up Pandals, street

    processions and idol immersion

    Ganesh ChaturthiFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated onthe birthday (rebirth) of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shivaand Parvati.

    It is believed that Lord Ganesh bestows his presence onearth for all his devotees during this festival. It is the daywhen Ganesha was born. Ganesha is widely worshippedas the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune andtraditionally invoked at the beginning of any new ventureor at the start of travel. The festival, also known asVinayaka Chaturthi ("festival of Ganesha") is observedin the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting onthe shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moonperiod). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending onAnant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).

    While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Goa, AndhraPradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in

    the United States, Canada, Mauritius,[1] Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Fiji, Trinidad &Tobago, and Guyana.


    1 Legend

    2 Date3 Celebration, rituals and tradition

    3.1 In Hinduism3.2 Outside India

    4 History

    5 Environmental impact

    6 Gallery

    7 See also

    8 Notes

    9 External links


    Main article: Ganesha

    Traditional ganesh hindu stories tell that Lord Ganesha was created by goddess Parvathi, consort of Lord Shiva.Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure.She then set him to stand guard at her door while she bathed. Lord Shiva returned and, as Ganesha didn't knowhim, he didn't allow him to enter. Lord Shiva became enraged and asked his follower ghosts to teach the child

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    some manners. Ganesha was very powerful, being born of Parvati, the embodiment of shakti (or power). Hedefeated the ghost-followers (called "Ghana"s) and declared nobody was allowed to enter while his mother wasbathing. The sage of heavens, Narada, along with the Saptarshi (the seven wise rishis) sensed a growing turmoiland went to appease the boy with no results. Angered, the king of Gods, Indra attacked the boy with his entireheavenly army but even they didn't stand a chance. By then, this issue had become a matter of pride for Parvathiand Shiva.

    After the devas were defeated, the trinity, the controller, preserver and destroyer of the universe launched anattack against Ganesha. Amidst the fighting, Shiva severed the head of the child. And brought on Parvathi's rage.Seeing her son dead, Parvathi revealed her true self, as the Adi-shakti, the prime energy that fuels the universeand sustains matter. Taking on a terrible form, she vowed to destroy the universe where her son was killed andre-create a better one. The Gods prostrated before her and Shiva promised that her son will live again. Thetrinity hunted the world for a head and came across a mother elephant crying for her dead baby. They consoledthe mother and fixed the head of the baby elephant in place of Ganesha's head. Lord Shiva also declared thatfrom this day, the boy would be called as "Ganesha" (Gana-Isha : lord of the Ganas). In this way, Lord

    Ganesha came to be depicted as the elephant-headed God.[2]

    According to the Linga Purana, Ganesha was created by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati at the request of theDevas for being a Vighnakartaa (obstacle-creator) in the path of Rakshasas, and a Vighnahartaa (obstacle-

    averter) to help the Devas achieve fruits of their hard work.[3]


    The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth dayof the waxing moon). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 or12 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi. This festival is observed in the lunar month of bhadrapada shuklapaksha chathurthi madhyahana vyapini purvaviddha. If Chaturthi prevails on both days, the first day shouldbe observed. Even if chaturthi prevails for the complete duration of madhyahana on the second day, if itprevails on the previous day's madhyahana period even for one ghatika (24 minutes), the previous day should

    be observed.[4]

    Celebration, rituals and tradition

    In Hinduism

    Two to three months before Ganesh Chaturthi, artistic clay models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale byspecially skilled artisans. They are beautifully decorated and depict Lord Ganesh in vivid poses. The size ofthese statues may vary from 3/4 of an inch to over 70 feet. The tallest Ganesha Idol made which stood 117 feettall was situated in the city of Visakhapatnam in 2012.

    Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes and speciallyerected temporary structures mandapas (pandals) in every locality. The pandals are erected by the people or aspecific society or locality or group by collecting monetary contributions. The pandals are decorated speciallyfor the festival, either by using decorative items like flower garlands, lights, etc. or are theme based decorations,which depict religious themes or current events.

    The priest, usually clad in red or white dhoti and uttariyam (Shawl), then with the chanting of mantras invokesthe presence of Ganesha using the statue as a channel, or body for his energy. This ritual is the Pranapratishhtha.After this the ritual called as Shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21modakas, 21 durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered. The statue is anointed with red unguent,

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    2011 India's Biggest Ganesh Murti

    (more than 70 feet) in


    Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated in


    Ganesh Visarjan in Mumbai

    typically made of kumkum and sandalwood paste. Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda,the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and the Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.


    Some homes buy their own small clay statue, and after 1,3,5,7 or 11 days immerse it in a bucket or tub athome, so as not to pollute public lakes or rivers. After a few days the clay is used in the home garden.

    The main sweet dish during the festival is the modak (modak in Marathi, modakam/kudumu in Telugu, modakain Kannada and modagam in Tamil). A modak is a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing offresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments. It is either steam-cooked or fried.Another popular sweet dish is the karanji (karjikai in Kannada) which is similar to the modak in composition andtaste but has a semicircular shape.

    In Andhra, kudumu (rice flour dumplings stuffed with coconut andjaggery mixture), Vundrallu (steamed coarsely grounded rice flourballs), Panakam (jaggery, black pepper and cardamom flavoreddrink), Vadapappu (soaked and moong lentils), Chalividi (cookedrice flour and jaggery mixture), etc., are offered to Ganesha alongwith Modakams. These offerings to god are called Naivedyam inTelugu.

    In Andhra, Clay Ganesh (Matti Vinayakudu in Telugu) and TurmericGanesh (Siddhi Vinayakudu in Telugu) is usually worshipped athomes along with plaster of paris Ganesha.

    Public celebrations of the festival are hugely popular, with localcommunities (mandalas) vying with each other to put up the biggeststatue and the best pandal. The festival is also the time for culturalactivities like singing and theater performances, orchestra andcommunity activities like free medical checkup, blood donationcamps, charity for the poor, etc.

    Today, the Ganesh Festival is not only a popular festival, it hasbecome a very critical andimportant economic activityfor Mumbai,Visakhapatnam,Hyderabad, Bangalore andChennai. Many artists,industries, and businessessurvive on this mega-event.Ganesh Festival alsoprovides a stage forbudding artists to presenttheir art to the public. In

    Maharashtra, not only Hindus but many other religions also participatein the celebration like Muslims, Jains, Christian and others. InMangalore, there is a belief that the eldest son of the home should be present during pooja.

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    Tamil dancers on the streets of Paris

    during the 2009 Ganesh Chaturthi


    Outside India

    Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the UK by the migrant Hindupopulation as well as the large number of Indians residing there. TheHindu culture and Heritage Society, UK - a Southall basedorganisation celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time in Londonin 2005 at The Vishwa Hindu Temple. The Idol was immersed in theriver Thames at Putney Pier. Another celebration organised by anGujarati group has been celebrated in the Southend-on-Sea which

    attracts over 18000 devotees.[5] Annual celebrations also take place

    on the River Mersey at Liverpool.[6][7]

    The festival is similarly celebrated in many locations across the world.The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, a