GANESH CHATURTHI 2022: The auspicious festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is right around the corner and Indians are gearing up to celebrate it with much fervour. This year Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations will start on August 31 and end on September 9. The 10-day long festival marks the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, who is regarded as the God of wisdom, prosperity, wealth and fortune. Here are some of the main rituals which are performed during the festival.
Ganesh Chaturthi is usually observed with the set-up of pandals in public places where the idols of the lord are placed. Flower garlands and lights are used for decoration.
Avahana and Pran Pratishtha
The first step is Avahana and Pran Pratishtha. The mantras are either chanted by a priest or at home, you can do it yourself. Light a Diya, a process known as ‘deep prajjwalan’, then offer Ganpatti Bappa the bhog of modak. After this, perform the aarti. This step marks that you have welcomed the lord into your homes.
Shodashopachara is the next main ritual which needs to be followed. This step involves a 16-step puja since ‘shoda’ means sixteen and ‘upachara’ means offering to the lord devoutly.
First, wash the feet of Lord Ganesha then bathe him with milk, ghee, honey, curd and sugar. This is the panchamrit snan which is followed by bathing the idol with scented oil and gangajal. Decorate the idol with new clothes and also offer flowers, unbroken rice, garland, sindoor and chandan. Then, a tilak made from sandalwood paste is applied to the Ganpati idol’s forehead. Druva grass and red flowers are also offered to the idol.
The ritual of Uttarpuja is performed before Ganpati’s farewell. This is to invite him to the Earth again next year. The ritual is celebrated by devotees by offering flowers, chanting mantras and performing aartis, including Niranjan aarti, pushpanjali Arpan and pradakshina.
The last ritual is Ganpati Visarjan when devotees immerse idols of Lord Ganesha into water bodies to say goodbye with hopes of having him next year again. Some of the mantras chanted while these processions include, ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya, Mangalmurti Morya’. Maharashtrians also chant ‘Purchya Varshi Laukariya’ in Marathi which signifies ‘come soon next year.’