Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in honor of Lord Ganesha, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The festival begins on the fourth day of Hindu lunar-solar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls in the Gregorian month of August or September. Lord Ganesha is considered as the god of wealth, prosperity and good fortune. The festival is celebrated with much fervor in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is marked with the installation of Ganesha idols at homes or at public places. In Mumbai, several Ganpati pandals pop-up during the festival. In 2017, the ten-day festival begins on August 25 and ends on September 5. On Anant Chaturdashi, idols of Ganesha are immersed.
According to a legend, Goddess Parvati created little Ganesha with using the turmeric while having a bath and asked him to guard the door and not to allow anyone to enter the house. After a while, when Lord Shiva returned, Ganesha stopped him from entering. He didn’t allow Shiva to enter even after telling him that he is the husband of Parvati. An enraged Shiva asked his army to destroy the little boy but they didn’t succeed. After a heated argument, Shiva cut off the head of little Ganesha and threw it away using his trident. When Parvati learned about the incident she became furious and decided to destroy the entire universe if Ganesha was not brought to life again. Shiva asked Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, to get the head of the first creature that he comes across with its head facing the North. However, all they could bring was a head of a strong and a powerful elephant, which Shiva fixed on Ganesha’s body breathing new life into him.
Prasad and Bhog
Modak is the favourite food of the deity. The outer shelf is made using rice flour/wheat flour/maida and the filling consists of freshly grated coconut and jaggery. The modak is either fried or steamed. It is called modak in Marathi, Gujarati, and Konkani, Modhaka in Kannada, Kudumu in Telugu and Kozhakkattai in Tamil.
According to Hindu division of the day, the time duration between sunrise and sunset is divided into five equal parts – Pratahkala, Sangava, Madhyahna, Aparahna and Sayankal. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born on Madhyana Kala and hence it is advised to perform puja vidhis during Madhyahna, which is equivalent to mid-day.
Chaturthi tithi begins: August 24, 2017, at 8:27 pm
Chaturthi tithi ends: August 25, 2017, at 8:31 pm
Madhyahna Ganesha puja tithi: 11:25 am to 1:55 pm
Duration: 2 hours 29 minutes