The birth of Lord Ganesha or popularly known as the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is an annual Hindu festival that lasts for ten days. The celebration for Lord Ganesh's birthday begins with people bringing Lord Ganesha's idol into their homes, as they observe fasts, prepare many delicacies and observe many other rituals.
Let’s learn a few things about the Elephant God:
1. considered one of the major deities in our culture
2. referred to as Vighnaharta or the remover of obstacles
3. also considered a harbinger of good luck, joy, and happiness
4. Lord Ganesha has eight avatars:
- Vakratunda is renowned for defeating the demon Matsara and restoring the three worlds’ and gods’ kingdoms’ lost glory.
- Ekdanta sheds supreme truth.
- Gajanan was the avatar taken by Lord Ganesha to fight greediness in the world
- Lambodara was taken to fight Krodhasura, the demon of anger, and to relieve the world from this demon.
- Vikata was the avatar Lord Ganesha took to subdue the demon of desire, Kama.
- Vighnaraj was taken to get rid of the obstacles in our lives and lead us to the path of success.
- Krishnapingaksha was taken to free everyone from pain and suffering.
- Mahodara represents forgiveness.
So these are the eight avatars of Lord Ganesh.
5. Lord Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati
6. Modak, Indian sweet dumplings, are considered the Elephant God’s favourite.
Here are a few interesting things going, and have been going on, in preparation for Ganesh Chaturthi Festival:
1. A resident in Ukkadam, Coimbatore had petitioned the court to allow the installation of a Ganesh pandal at the colony. The residents of the colony want to celebrate the festival but the police had denied permission to them fearing a law and order issue considering that Muslims live predominantly in the colony.
Read more about it here.
2. There will be a separate lane at toll plazas on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway for vehicles going for the Ganesh festival to ease the traffic and for the convenience of the devotees according to the chief minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde.
3. To ensure a smooth passage for all Lord Ganesh’s devotees who are travelling from different parts of Maharashtra to the state's coastal Konkan belt, the Maharashtra government had waived the toll on Mumbai-Bengaluru and Mumbai-Goa highways as well as toll plazas of other Public Works Department (PWD) roads from August 27 to September 11.
4. In 2020 and 2021, Ganesh Chaturthi Festival was muted, along with other festivities due to Covid-19. This year, however, the 10-day Ganesh festival begins on August 31 and it will be celebrated without Covid-induced restrictions after two years.
5. In Karnataka, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issued a ban on meat and slaughter, which will be applicable in all areas within the BBMP limits. The notice reads -"On 31 August 2022, Wednesday on account of Ganesha Chaturthi, all slaughterhouses that come under the jurisdiction of BBMP are completely prohibited from slaughtering animals and selling meat to shops."
Check out Lord Ganesha's bobblehead avatar.
6. In Thane's Dhamankar Naka area, a 120-feet replica of Ayodhya's Ram Temple was erected ahead of the celebrations.
7. A thoughtful and expected act (basically from everyone) has been taken by devotees in Haridwar and Bhopal. Artisans in Bhopal make their idols from sago and black pepper seeds with no artificial colours, to save the environment while artisans in Haridwar are preparing clay idols of Lord Ganesh ahead of the festival. The idols are made of different and non-toxic colours to ensure the idols do not harm in any way.
8. Workers prepare traditional musical instruments, 'tabla' and 'dholakhi', for the Ganesh festival.
9. This year, a 52-feet replica of Kathmandu’s famous Pashupatinath temple has been created in celebration of the Ganesh Festival by Mumbai's Bandra West Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, famous for recreating prominent temples.
How is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated?
- Idol installation. Devotees install Lord Ganesha’s idol in their houses.
- Sweets offerings. During the 10-day celebration, he is offered sweets and flowers.
- Processions. Grand processions are carried out locally on the streets where people show their devotion by singing, dancing, and welcoming the Lord.
- Idol immersion. This takes place on the 11th day of the festival. This is the time when the idols of Lord Ganapati are immersed in the nearby water bodies bidding the Lord goodbye and asking him to come again the next year.
Snooplay wishes everyone a peaceful and fun Ganesha Chaturthi. May Lord Ganesha shower us all with his love, goodness and wisdom. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi, everyone!