Sankasthi Chaturthi, also known as Sankata Hari Chaturthi, falls on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha in every lunar month of the Hindu calendar. The Chaturthi that falls on Tuesday is called as Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi and is considered highly auspicious. Angarki Chaturthi occurs once or twice a year and is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm by the devotees of Lord Ganesha. It is believed that those who observe the fast on this day gets the benefits as those obtained by observing Sankashti Chaturthi throughout the year. In 2018, there are three Angarki Chaturthi that falls on April 3, July 31 and December 25. Devotees offer puja and bhog to please Lord Ganesha. We all are aware of Ganesha’s love for modaks. Here are five popular bhog offered to Lord Ganesha during Angarki Sankasthi Chaturthi:
No doubt, modak tops the list. The traditional modak is a sweet dumpling made of rice, wheat or all-purpose flour. It is stuffed with freshly grated coconut and jaggery. Modaks are either steamed or fried. They are later distributed to everyone as prasad. According to a legend, to prove that parents mean the world to him Lord Ganesha circled his parents thrice. Impressed by his devotion, Goddess Parvati offered him modak. Since then the sweet is associated with the Lord. He is often called ‘Modakpriya’. Today there are various delicious flavours of modak available such as dry fruit modak, chocolate modak, fruits modak and more.
According to a legend, during Lord Ganesha’s fight with demon Analsura, he swallowed the demon. This resulted in his stomach to burn. After a lot of attempts to cure, sages offered him 21 blades of durva grass which healed him. Since then durva grass is his favourite and is believed to attract Ganesha’s positive energy.
Puran Poli is another favourite dessert offered to Lord Ganesha. The dessert is basically a flatbread made of maida stuffed with jaggery and lentils.
Sheera, often called as Halwa’, is prepared using semolina (rava). The dessert is flavoured and thickened using a generous amount of ghee, sugar, mashed bananas and dry fruits.
An array of fresh and seasonal fruits are offered to the elephant god. But no points for guessing his favourite fruit is ‘Banana’. Devotees also offer garlands made of banana leaves along with the stem of the banana plant and flowers.