Ganesh Chaturthi—or Vinayaka Chaturthi— is a ten day festival, held to honor the Hindu god of intelligence, Ganesha. The day usually falls in the Gregorian months of August or September, and is observed with prayer, public and private display of Ganesha idols, the chanting of Vedic hymns, and fasting. On the final day of the festival, an idol of Ganesha is carried in a public procession, and plunged into a nearby body of water. When the clay dissolves, it is believed Ganesha returns to Shiva. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated across India, as well as Hindu diaspora countries like Nepal.
History of Ganesh Chaturthi
The birth of Lord Ganesha has two origin stories. The first is that he was born while the goddess Parvati was taking her bath. Ganesha — a child at the time, was asked by Shiva to guard the door while his partner Parvati finished her bath. When Shiva returned later, Ganesh denied him access to his home, enraging Shiva and causing him to chop off Ganesha’s head. Distressed and heartbroken by this incident, Parvati demanded that a new head be found for Ganesha. All that was managed to be found was an elephant head, which was then placed on the body of Ganesha. The second version is less popular, telling us that Ganesha was the conscious creation of Shiva and Parvati, upon command from greater heavenly entities. Ganesha’s purpose was to block the path of demonic entities.
It is widely believed that Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated for the first time when the Satavahana, Rashtrakuta, and the Chalukya dynasties ruled between 271 B.C. and 1190 A.D.
Ganesh Chaturthi timeline
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated during the rule of the Satavahana, Rashtrakuta, and the Chalukya dynasties.
The founder of the Maratha Empire, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi zealously.
Freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak arranges a grand public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi to unite Indians against the British.
The Kambli family in Mumbai design and create the Ganpati idols.
Ganesh Chaturthi FAQs
What is the importance of Vinayaka Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated annually to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha, the God of new beginnings and a fresh start.
What is the date of Ganpati 2021?
Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on September 10 in 2021 and will end on September 21, 2021.
What is the story behind Vinayaka Chaturthi?
The elephant-headed God Ganesh was born human but was decapitated by Lord Shiva. He was then regenerated with a new head by the Goddess Parvati, giving rebirth to Ganesh.
How to Observe Ganesh Chaturthi
Beautify your home
For Lord Ganesh’s arrival, you want your home to have positive energy to maximize on his blessings. Clean your house thoroughly, decorate it, and create an aura of good energy.
Get an idol of Ganesh
Get an idol of Ganesha and have it placed in your home before the festivities begin. These idols are worshipped and later immersed in water.
Pray to Ganesh
Seek the pleasure of Lord Ganesh during the festival days, worship him with great devotion, and host prayer services at your home.
5 Facts About Lord Ganesha Every Devout Should Know
The first Ganesh Chaturthi celebration
The first celebration of the festival on record dates back to the era of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
The festival is not just in India
Lord Ganesha is worshipped in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, and China.
Lord Ganesha is featured on currency
Lord Ganesha is printed on Indonesia’s 20,000 rupees note.
China’s depiction is different
The deity Kangi Ten is worshipped in China, which is a figure with two elephant heads.
Avoid looking at the moon
It is considered unlucky to sight the moon during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Why Ganesh Chaturthi is Important
Important religious festival
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the Hindu God Ganesh, welcoming his arrival and hosting grand celebrations for 10 days.
The festival spreads positivity
Ganesh Chaturthi is all about seeking blessings from Lord Ganesh, taking inventory of all the good and bad things in our lifestyle, and creating a balance for the next year. The event signifies new beginnings, so abundance in wealth, health, and prosperity are sought, giving us hope and a positive approach.
Spreading joy to international communities
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in Hindu communities throughout the world. During this festival, there is a feeling of unity among Hindus, who feel closer to their home and country by practicing faith and participating in grand festivities.
Ganesh Chaturthi dates