Ganesh Chaturthi is a native Indian festival that is celebrated all over India. The spectacular festival is a celebration of the birth of Hindu god Ganesh.
Although the festival is celebrated as a pan Indian festival, the celebrations in the state of Maharashtra are the most popular. The celebrations observe various cultural proceedings, which unite the public like none other in a sense of togetherness and belongingness.
The celebration culminates with the immersion of the idol into the water. Huge processions, prayers, fairs are a part of the festival that allow the people to carry the idol to a river, lake or ocean. These mega scale processions are accompanied by ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya’, a chant that is one everyone’s mouth. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is the major festival of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
The festival is celebrated in every Hindu household in the state, over a period of ten days. The celebrations begin by installing small to midsized idols of Lord Ganesh in individual households, which are worshiped by the family, friends, and at times even neighbors (who drop in to get a darshan of their beloved deity)! It is not only celebrated at an individual level, but also at the society level.
Large pandals (temporary shades intended for pujas) are put up, and idols of lord Ganesh are worshiped by the society as a unit! Various cultural events are played out as a part of the festival that spans over the ten days. This celebration culminates on the tenth day, when people immerse the just-worshipped idol in the local water body.
Celebrations in Karnataka
In the state of Karnataka however, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with prayers, which are offered to the mother of Lord Ganesh. The significance of this act is so that the women in the state have happy and blessed married lives. The celebrations generally occur at various Ganesh temples in the state, where prayers are offered to both Gauri (mother of Lord Ganesha) and Lord Ganesh. The festival is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in the state of Karnataka.
Celebrations in Rajasthan
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in Rajasthan is celebrated by worshipping the image of Lord Ganesh. The image is bathed with red kumkum, while idols of the beloved idol are covered with a garland of red flowers. The image of the idol is then placed near the entrance of every household in the state.
A visitor is required to apply a pinch of the mixture of kumkum and haldi at their necks and foreheads. Ladoos, among other sweets are offered to the idol and then to the visitors and devotees in the state.