How is Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrated?
During the festive season, beautifully-crafted clay idols of Vinayaka are installed in the houses of devotees. Artisans invest months of craftsmanship into the making of these idols. The idols will be mounted on decorated podiums at a decorated place at home. Big idols will also be installed in decorated community tents offering opportunity for devotees to offer adulation, gifts and prayers.Ganesha idols will be installed in places of work with a good number of Ganesha devotees. The place where the idol is put in will be adorned with flowers and other interesting materials.
Public celebrations lend effervescence and festivity to the entire locality.Indigenous youth groups, neighbourhood associations or groups of tradespeople are usually behind these public celebrations. Funds will be collected from the public or from sponsorships.
The Ganesha statue will be worshipped for 10 days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi,) both at home and at temporary public shrines. Priests will invoke life into the Ganesh idols by performing ‘pranapratishhtha’ rituals and mantras. The statue will be smeared all over with red sandalwood powder. The worship also includes Shhodashopachara,16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha.
“Chaturthi means “fourth day” or “fourth state”. Celebrations are traditionally held on the fourth day of the first fortnight in the month of Bhaadrapada in the Hindu calendar, usually August or September in the Gregorian calendar.The festival generally lasts ten days, ending on the fourteenth day of the fortnight (Anant Chaturdashi).”
This is the most widely celebrated festival mainly because of the popularity of Ganesha as the remover of obstacles. Lord Ganesh is considered as “Vigana Harta” – one who removes obstacles. On the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chathurti, all devotees ardently pray to Ganesha to successfully complete any new activity without any Vighna or obstacles. Ganesha is also the lord of success and wisdom. He is considered to be “Buddhi Pradaayaka” (one who grants intelligence). So it is very important for students to worship him to brighten their minds and brains.