Ganesh Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesha, the God of beginnings and wisdom. It’s usually celebrated between August and September, specifically in the Bhaadrapada month of the Hindu calendar. Though it is celebrated across India, the grandeur of the culturally rich festival is explicit in Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka. The festival has evolved with the evolving age. In modern times, it involves worshiping of clay images of Ganesha installed in public pandals for ten days with different variety of herbal leaves and plants. The festival usually ends with immersion of the deity in a water body along with the.
Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of Ganesha statues in beautifully decorated homes, also elevated platforms constructed for the purpose, commonly called ‘mandapas’. The idol is then worshipped with flowers and bunch of tender grass shoots called Durva every morning and evening till the departure. The ceremonies end with an ‘Aarti’ in honor of Ganesha. All the rituals are performed by a priest clad in red or white dhoti and shawl while chanting mantras. The end is marked by a grand procession that’s taken out for the immersion of the idol in the nearest lake or river. For environmental concerns, some people even immerse it in a bath tub then using the dissolved clay in home gardens.
The main sweet dish of the festival is ‘Modak’ , dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments (either steam-cooked or fried).
It is believed that Ganesha bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival and the festival is celebrated with absolute gusto by not only the citizens of the country, but even Indians living outside India; Terai region of Nepal and Hindus in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, etc.