The festival begins on the fourth day of the waxing moon period (Shukla Chaturthi), and ends on the 14th day of the waxing moon period (Anant Chaturdashi). The festival reaches its climax on Anant Chaturdashi by seeing off Ganesha. The day is also known as Ganesh Visarjan or Ganesha immersion day.
The idols will be carried by devotes accompanied by joyous and celebratory street parades on the 11th day. The idols will be immersed and dissolved in the nearby water bodies like river, lake or sea. This ritual symbolizes bidding farewell to Ganesh as he goes back to his heavenly abode in Kailash. The lord is believed to take away with him the adversities of all his devotees too. Ganesha fans will be shouting the slogan, “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again early next year) while dancing in the procession.
Anant Chaturdashi to Invoke Lord Vishnu
Anant Chaturdashi is also dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu or Lord Anant – the god head of the Hindu trinity. Devotees pay tribute to him to beseech his blessings and to regain lost wealth. Certain rituals are performed as part of the Anant Chaturdashi celebration. Devotees observe fast during the day. They can have only fruits and milk. Ananta Sutra – a string with 14 knots smeared with kumkum and turmeric -will be sanctified during the puja. Men will tie the thread in their right arm and women in their left.
Anant Chaturdashi is the day which is devoted to the adulation of Lord Vishnu and a farewell to Lord Ganesha.