Ganesh Chaturthi 2024: Events and Wishes

Hindus widely worship Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity (also popularly known as Ganapati), as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune. The Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesha Utsava, is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindus. It is celebrated every year on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (the day of Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi) by worshiping Lord Ganesha.

Ganesh Chaturthi festival, generally celebrated every year around September, follows a basic structure where people bring an idol of Ganesh, worship it in homes or public spaces for around ten days, and then take out the idol in a procession and finally immerse it in flowing waters. In addition to worship, there are cultural performances and social events too.

There is also a classical belief that Lord Ganesha was born on the day of Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon) in the Satya Yuga. So, Ganesha Jayanthi is celebrated on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (Aug – Sept). This year Ganesh Chaturthi is on Saturday, September 4, 2024.

The Ganesh Chaturthi is a pan-Indian festival celebrated by most Hindus globally, but its fullest expression is found in Maharashtra among the predominantly Marathi-speaking Hindus. Outside Maharashtra, states like Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, and Tamilnadu also actively promote celebrations of the Ganesh festival.

In recent years, the Indian diaspora has actively promoted public celebrations of Ganesh festivals as a distinct marker of their culture and identity in cities including London, Sydney, New York, and Singapore. This celebration is marked by prayers, offerings, cultural dances, food, and family get-togethers.

Let’s Pray to Lord Ganesha

मूषिकवाहन मोदकहस्त
चामरकर्ण विलम्बितसूत्र ।
वामनरूप महेस्वरपुत्र
विघ्नविनायक पाद नमस्ते ॥
Mushika vaahana modaka hastha,
Chaamara karna vilambitha sutra,
Vaamana rupa maheshwara putra,
Vighna vinaayaka paada namaste

Meaning in English

“O Lord Vinayaka! the remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a very short form, with a mouse as the vehicle, sweet pudding in hand, wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at the lotus-like Feet!”

Ganesha Worships

During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, devotees worship Ganesh as Varasiddhi Vinayaka in Ganesha temples and also in their homes after making his idols.

In India, clay figures of the deity are made, and after being worshipped for two days, or in some cases ten days. On the day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, devotees bring those images of Ganesh to be immersed in the sea or nearby rivers.

Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God is also known as the remover of obstacles and the god of a new beginning. Many Hindu rituals start with worshipping Lord Ganesha, whether it be a business venture, new car, house, or any other new gain. That’s why there is a popular Hindu verbatim, ‘Shri Ganesh’, which signifies the start of something good and positive.

In Shiv Purana, there is a description of an incident where Lord Shiva replaced the head of Ganesh with that of an elephant and told devotees to worship Ganesha before starting any auspicious activity.

Major events in Ganesh Chaturthi

This detailed puja for the Ganesh idol remains similar in present times. Devotees keep a a tray filled with offerings prepared by the women of the household Infront of the Ganesh idol. These include sandalwood paste, turmeric powder, red powder called Kunku, betel nuts, a coconut, and various flowers and leaves.

One special leaf called santa-mum leaf is also offered to Ganesha on this day. Another special item is a clump of Dhruva grass, which Ganesha likes. There must be exactly twenty-one shoots of this grass.

Containers for the panchamrita or five nectars: milk, ghee, curds, honey, and sugar are also kept. These items are offered one by one to the statue. Strips of cotton and silk are draped around Ganesha’s shoulders, and flowers cover him completely.

Finally, the family representative makes a final prostration to the deity. Special sweet balls called modak, associated with Ganapati, are eaten, twenty-one in number.

After the puja at home, the head of the family carries the idol barefoot out of the door without looking back. Family, friends, and neighbors participate in this journey to the river or flowing water.

Ganapati celebrations also involves making large statue of Ganapati made of unbaked clay. But the public Ganpati statue belongs to a whole community or group, not just one family, and is usually located in a specific area like a neighborhood or workplace. This group, which could be a neighborhood, housing society, or workplace such as a factory or government institution, is responsible for organizing the public Ganpati statue and the yearly festival celebrations.

The crowds accompany the idol, clapping hands and raising cries of joy, and chanting ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhachya Varshi Lavkar Ya (praise Ganesh, please come back soon next year).

After reaching the river bank, this procession performs the last departure puja again, and then the clay idols of Ganesha are immersed in the water (river, lake or ocean), in a triumphant gesture of release.

For Ganesh Chaturthi festival, hundreds of statues of Ganesh are made, decorated, and lovingly dressed. This handmade clay figure symbolizes the birth of Lord Ganesha and our evolving selves and budding endeavors.

Significance of Clay Statute and Immersing in River

In shaping the formless clay into a defined figure, we mirror the process of giving shape to our worldly and spiritual aspirations with determination and resolve. This act affirms our commitment to manifesting our goals and dreams into tangible reality.

Following the puja, we respectfully request the divine energy infused within the clay idol to depart before we remove the non-degradable decorations and immerse the idol in a water body. As the clay dissolves and merges with the water, we are reminded of the transient nature of desires. Just as the clay merges with the lake, we, too, must release our attachments and fears of outcomes, preparing ourselves for success with a liberated mindset.

By shedding our limiting identities and egoistic attachments (ahambhavam), we aspire to unite with the divine (Paramatman), transcending individual boundaries and becoming one with the universal consciousness. Thus, Vinayaka Chaturthi is a profound reminder of the impermanence of material desires and the transformative power of spiritual surrender and union with the divine.

Ten Ganesh Chaturthi Wishes

With the use of social media, devotees also celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi by updating Facebook, Instagram, or Whatsapp status and exchanging Ganesh Chaturthi greetings with near and dear ones.

  1. I am hopeful, that this Ganesh Chaturthi will be the start of the year that brings happiness for you. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
  2. In this Vinayaka Chaturthi, May Lord Ganesha Give you a lot of Happiness and Joy. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.
  3. May Lord Ganesh brings you good luck and prosperity! Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi.
  4. May Lord Ganesh showers you with success in all your Endeavors. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.
  5. May Lord Ganesha come to your house and takes away all your Laddus n Modaks with all your worries and sorrows.
  6. May Lord Ganesha shower abundant good luck on you and may he always bestow you with his blessings.
  7. May Lord Ganpati gives you all the joys and happiness of life. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.
  8. May the lord Ganpati Bappa Morya remove all obstacles and shower you with bounties. Ganpati Bappa Morya.
  9. May you find all the delights of life! Wish you Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and I pray to Lord Ganesha for your prosperous life.
  10. Wishing you happiness as big as Ganesha’s appetite, life as long as his trunk, and trouble as small as his mouse. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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