Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Date, history, celebrations of the 10-day festival
This year Ganesh Chaturthi falls on August 31. It is said that every year Lord Ganesha visits Earth to bless his devotees during the 10-day Ganeshotsav celebrations. Know all about the festival.
Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi, one of the popular Hindu festivals is observed every year on the Chaturthi tithi of Shukla Paksha to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesha. This year Ganesh Chaturthi falls on August 31. It is said that every year Lord Ganesha visits Earth to bless his devotees during the 10-day Ganeshotsav celebrations and on the last day, which is also known as Ganesh Visarjan or Anant Chaturdashi, returns to Mount Kailash to his parents Lord Shiva and Paravati.
The first day of the Ganeshotsav will be observed on August 31 (Wednesday) during which pranapratishtha is done and conclude with Anant Chaturdashi on September 9 (Friday). (Also Read: Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Best wishes, images, messages, greetings to share with loved ones on Vinayaka Chaturthi)
History and significance
As per a legend associated with the birth of Lord Ganesha, Maa Parvati created Ganesha with sandalwood paste and asked him to guard the place where she was taking bath. This happened when Lord Shiva was not around. When he returned, he was surprised to find Ganesha standing at the gate who also did not allow him inside. The two got into a fight during which Lord Shiva severed Ganesha's head. When Parvati came out after taking a bath, she was infuriated. She took Kaali avatar and threatened to destroy the world. When Lord Shiva came to know the truth, he immediately sent his men to get head of a child whose mother was looking the other way. His men returned with the head of a baby elephant which was then given to Ganesha and that's how he came to be known as the elephant-headed god.
To mark Ganesh Chaturthi people bring idols of Ganpati Bappa to their homes for 1.5 days, 3 days, 7 days, or 10 days after which the idols are immersed in water by devotees with heavy heart wishing for Bappa to return next year. Lord Ganesha is also worshipped in pandals which adds to the festive feel as people gather in huge numbers and have a gala time. At the time of visarjan, the Ganesha idols are carried in huge processions with music and group chanting of 'Ganpati Bappa Morya, Agle Baras Tu Jaldi Aa.' The festival is most popular in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.
On Ganesh Chaturthi, people also observe fast; while some keep it on first and last day, others observe all ten days. Pranapratishtha ritual is done on the first day to invoke life in the idols, which is followed by shhodashopachara, or the 16 ways of paying tribute. Lord Ganesha is offered prasad of his favourite modaks, laddoos, coconut and jaggery.