Friday, September 10, 2010

Ganesh Chaturthi 2010 - Vinayaka Chavithi 2010

Source: Hindupad & Other Internet Resources.

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chavithi is one of the big festivals celebrated in India.The Hindu Festival of Ganesha is Celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Ganesha,the Elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Parvati,who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival.Lord Ganesha is widely worshipped as the God of wisdom,Prosperity and Good Fortune.
         The Festival is observed on the Hindu Calendar month of Bhaadra or Bhaadrapada (August-September) Starting on the Shukla Chaturthi (Fourth day of the Waxing Moon Period).The date usually falls between 20 august and 15 september.If the Chaturthi prevails on both days,the first day should be observed.Even if Chaturthi prevails for the complete duration of Madhyahana on the second day,if it prevails on the previous day's Madhyahana period even for one "Ghatika" (24 minutes),the previous day should be observed.Ganesh Chaturthi 2010 or Vinayaka Chaviti 2010 date is September 11 on Saturday.Lord Ganesha is also known as Ganapati,Gajaanana ,Vignaharti or Vinayaka.

           Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated for more than 9days starting from Ganesh Chaturthi,during the month Bhaadrapada ,which is called "Ganesh Navaraatri" .The Festival lasts for 10 days ,ending on Anant Chaturdashi,(Fourteenth day of the Waxing Moon period).After Ganesh Navaraatri,worshipping Lord Ganesh for 9days or more than 9days in Ganesh Mandap,Ganesha Idol is immersed in water bodies.This ritual is called Ganesha Nimajjan or Ganesha Visarjjan. This Festival is celebrated all over India,It is most elaborate in Maharashtra,Goa,Gujarat,Orissa,Karnataka,Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh.Outside India,It is celebrated among the Hindu communities in Nepal and SriLanka.

             In India,two or three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi,artistic clay models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale by specially skilled artisans.They are beautifully decorated and depict Lord Ganesh in Various poses.The size of these statues may vary from 3/4 th of an inch to over 25 feet.Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures Mandapas( Pandals ) in every Locality.The Pandals are erected by the people or a specific society or locality or group by colecting monetary contributions.The Mandapas are decorated specially for the festival either by using decorative items like flower garland ,light etc are theme based decorations,which depict religious themes or current events.

            The priest usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl,then symbolically invokes life in to the statue by chanting Mantras.The ritual is the Pranaprathistha.After this ,the ritual called Shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 modakas, 21 durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered. The statue is anointed with red unguent, typically made of Kumkum & Sandalwood paste . Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad and the Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped.

          On the 11th day, the statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees, this is the ritual known as Ganesh Visarjan. At individual homes the Visarjan is also done on 3rd, 5th or 7th day as per the family tradition. All join in this final procession shouting "Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Pudhachya Varshi Laukar ya" (O lord Ganesha, come again speedily next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the statue to the river to immerse it

              The main sweet dish during the festival is the modak (modagam or modakam in South India). A modak is a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments. It is either steam-cooked or fried. Another popular sweet dish is the karanji (karjikaiin Kannada) which is similar to the modak in composition and taste but has a semicircular shape.

                                     Public celebrations of the festival are hugely popular, with local communities (mandalas) vying with each other to put up the biggest statue & the best pandal. The festival is also the time for cultural activities like singing and theater performances, orchestra and community activities like free medical checkup, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, etc.

Today, the Ganesh Festival is not only a popular festival, it has become a very critical and important economic activity for Maharashtra. Many artists, industries, and businesses survive on this mega-event. Ganesh Festival also provides a stage for budding artists to present their art to the public.
  I wish you All of you  a Very "Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi "
   May Lord Ganesha always bless US with Happiness & Good Luck.


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