Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: Why Ganesh Utsav is celebrated for 10 days - Hindustan Times
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Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: Why Ganesh Utsav is celebrated for 10 days

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Sep 16, 2023 04:37 PM IST

Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi 2023, here's all you need to know about why Ganesh Utsav is celebrated for 10 days

Hindu devotees across the states of India are gearing up for the 10-day Ganeshotsav celebrations that mark the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi, which falls annually on the Chaturthi tithi of Shukla Paksha to celebrate the birth of Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity of wisdom and prosperity. The devotees believe that every year, Ganesha visits the Earth to bless his devotees during the 10-day festival and this year, Ganesh Chaturthi will begin on September 19 and will end on September 28 with Ganesh Visarjan or Anant Chaturdashi, that is believed to mark Ganesha's return to Mount Kailash to his parents Shiva and Parvati.

An artisan gives finishing touches to an idol of Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in Agartala. Read on to know why Ganesh Utsav is celebrated for 10 days (PTI)
An artisan gives finishing touches to an idol of Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in Agartala. Read on to know why Ganesh Utsav is celebrated for 10 days (PTI)

Wonder why this most widely celebrated festivals in India, particularly in the state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days? For the uninitiated, the Hindu mythology states that Ganesha is believed to have been created by Parvati from the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath where she breathed life into the idol and instructed him to guard her while she was bathing.

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However, when her husband Shiva returned and was denied entry by Ganesha, a battle ensued and Ganesha was beheaded but to make amends later, Shiva granted Ganesha a new head, typically that of an elephant. This event is symbolically reenacted during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and lasts for 10 days, representing the period of Ganesha's birth and his journey back to his mother Parvati.

The public celebration of Ganesh Utsav are nothing new instead, they date back to the late 19th century when during the British colonial rule in India, social reformers and freedom fighters tapped on the festive celebrations to unite people and build a sense of community and patriotism. Hence, to foster a sense of togetherness and solidarity, the 10-day celebrations were held for extended communal gatherings, cultural performances and public processions, evolving the festival into a significant cultural and social event over the years.

Today, the 10-day celebration provides ample time for people to come together, engage in cultural activities and display their artistic talents through the creation of elaborate Ganesha idols and decorations as the 10 days are considered an auspicious time for seeking his blessings. Devotees perform various rituals, offer prayers and make varied food offerings to Ganesha during this period to invoke his grace and blessings.

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