The Most Auspicious time to start something new!
Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaga Chaturthis as it is also known, is the Hindu festival which celebrates Lord Ganesha’s birthday, an offspring of Lord Shiva and Parvati, it is observed in the month of Bhaadrapada and the date usually falls between 17th September and 27th September and lasts for a total of 10 days.
The earliest Ganesha Chaturthi puja were recorded way back in the time of the reigns of the Satvahan, Rashtrakuta and the Chalukya dynasties.
The festival is known for its community participation and involvement of people from all walks of life irrespective of their religion or culture; these 10 days include various religious and intellectually motivated activities. Huge public installations of idols of Ganesha which at times can be as big as 25 feet are a very integral part of the overall celebrations.
Priests clad in robes of red silk, as a symbol, invoke life in the statues by chanting mantras and then coconuts, jaggery, grass blades and red flowers are given as offerings. The statues are then anointed with paste made from Kumkum & sandalwood paste, the main sweet dish for this festival is the Modak which is basically a kind of a dumpling made from flour and fresh dry coconut, dry fruits etc.
Ganesh Chaturthi Wishes
Traditionally Ganesh chaturthi greetings and wishes consist of asking for the growth and prosperity of the person as well as success in any ongoing or new venture or endeavor, since it is a major tradition in India that before the start of any new activity Lord Ganesha is asked for his blessings, in the same way people invoke Ganesha to help out in the ventures.
Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings
People greet each with traditional sweets and gifts, elders usually buy gifts for the young and small amounts of money are also given as blessings.
In Maharashtra the public celebrations of Ganesha Chaturthi is very popular with various areas and communities competing with each other to put up the most beautiful statue and celebrate the festival with maximum pomp and show. Various cultural and community activities are also taken up by the people and with each passing year it has become a very critical and important economic activity for Maharashtra as many local artisans, businesses etc are hugely dependent on this festivals.
The festival is similarly celebrated all across the world with major celebrations in UK, USA and Canada with people wishing each other 'Happy Ganesh chaturthi'
Ganesha Chaturthi 2015 which will be celebrated on the 17th of September is supposed to be a landmark event as a environment conscious way of celebrating it are being thought of, with many governmental and non governmental agencies trying to encourage the local masses to move back to the older clay idols and trying to bring to the notice of the public the way toxic chemicals in the paint used on the idols spoil local water bodies and cause major kinds of water contamination and pollution.