Lord Vinayaka, Ganesh ji, Ganpati ji, Vinayaka is the darling of the masses. Ganesh Chaturthi brings people of all religion, caste and creed together.
The Ganesh Chaturthi 2016 Puja Muhurut to bring the Vigraha / Idol home is during the Shubh, Labh or Amrit Choghadiya. If you intend to bring Ganpati ji one day before, i.e. on the 4th September 2016, the Labh time is between 09:33 to 11:05 and the Amrit time is 11:05 to 12:37. Ganpati ji can also be brought home (Avahana or Welcome) during the Shubh time which is between 14:10 to 15:42. The Muhurut for evening time would be the Shubh time which is between 18:47 to 21:42. Please note these Timings are as per panchang of Mumbai, India.
The Ganesh Staphna (installation of the Idol) on Ganesh Chaturthi day, i.e. on 5th September 2016 can be done at Amrit time between 06:28 to 08:00 or Shubh Time i.e. between 09:32 to 11:05. Ganesh Pooja is preferred during Madhyanhana on Ganesh Chaturthi as it is believed that Lord Ganesh was born during Madhyahana Kaal which is between 14:09 and 15:42. The Muhurut time specified above is the best Muhurut to perform the Ganesh Puja and to perform any work.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion all over India. People bring home murtis (Idols) of Lord Ganesha and celebrate the festival by worshiping the Lord in a special way for a day and a half, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending on the family tradition and commitment of each individual.
On the last day of worship the idol is taken out in a colourful and musical procession to be immersed traditionally at a beach.
This is one of the most popular festivals in the Country. There are several reasons for this. Ganpati is after all a popular God. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as He is the one who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities.
Ganpati, the god of wisdom and the benevolent deity of the dynasty of Peshwas who ruled Maharashtra inculcating a special culture in the state. Ganpati is the herald of auspicious beginnings and is the beloved deity of all.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganeshotsav, Ganpati festival—call it what you will, it’s always been one of the most fun and exciting festivals in India. The atmosphere transforms into one of zeal and camaraderie, and people celebrate this festival with full gusto. Ganeshotsav, as a public festival, was started in Maharastra by erstwhile Nationalist leader Lokmanya Tilak. This festival since then has not ceased to be an event that brings people together and create a celebratory ambience.
The big celebration
Dedicated to Lord Ganesha (or Ganpati Bappa as the kids like to call him) Ganeshotsav lasts for 10 fun-filled days. During these 10 days, many people in India and even abroad bring clay idols of Ganpati home and decorate their homes with lights, flowers and coloured confetti. Bigger groups, for instance residential complex groups bring a larger Ganpati idol meant for the entire complex. Ganpati idols come in all shapes and sizes; even baby Ganeshas that look cute as buttons! During the auspicious days of Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha is pampered and treated to sweets, especially 21 steamed modaks, which are supposed to be his favourite. Devotional songs are sung to the accompaniment of cymbals and the atmosphere fills up with the fragrance of incense sticks.
People dress up in their best clothes and school-going kids get a long vacation to fully enjoy this grand festival. Ganesha is worshipped everyday for these 10 days and you can hear the chorus of “Ganpati Bappa Morya!” everywhere. One of the most popular Ganeshas during this festival is ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’, supposed to be the tallest, most mighty looking Ganpati in all of Maharashtra. Devotes line up in the wee hours of the morning outside the temple in Lalbaug to get a glimpse of the imposing idol.
The teary-eyed goodbyes…
With heavy hearts, at the end of the 10 days, the Ganesha idols are immersed into the sea and cries of “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya!” are heard. The immersion in itself is a massive event. Nowadays, people use artificial ponds to immerse the idols so as to not pollute the larger water bodies. When this gorgeous festival gets over, the days really feel dull, until Ganesha comes back to town the next year! Celebrated by one and all, and every religion, Ganesh Chaturthi is truly a festival of the people, by the people and for the people.
Ganesha Chaturthi Public Life
Ganesha Chaturthi is an optional gazetted holiday in India. Hence, most government offices, businesses, schools and colleges remain open during Ganesha Chaturthi.
Anant Chaturdashi which falls after 10 days of Ganesha Chaturthi is considered significant to bid farewell to Lord Ganesha. Anant Chaturdashi is the culmination day of Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations when the idols of Lord Ganesha are offered to water body through Visarjan and immersion.
Compare to Ganesha Chaturthi, public life is significantly affected on the day of Ananta Chaturdashi as the grand street processions are taken out with much fun and frolic. The roads and streets are blocked with devotees of Lord Ganesha. The movement of vehicular traffic on some significant roads is blocked due to several Ganesha processions.
In some states, the day of Anant Chaturdashi is declared as dry day to control and minimize and untoward incidents. The authorities keep vigil to prevent any communal tension getting escalated during Ganesha procession. On a dry day all liqueur shops remain closed and all hotels and restaurants except five stars are prohibited to serve alcohol by local authorities.
Anant Chaturdashi is listed under restricted government holidays. Hence, individuals can take a day off on the day of Ganesha Visarjan. The system of restricted holidays in India gives individuals the flexibility to take time off to celebrate those festivals which are important to their region and religion.
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