On September 19, 2023, millions of devotees across the globe will celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, welcoming Lord Ganesha into their homes and hearts. This festival is dedicated to the elephant-headed God, who represents wisdom, prosperity and the removal of obstacles. Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Utsav) and Bhadrapada Vinayaka Chaturthi, is celebrated with great devotion by Hindus.
The ten-day festival will commence with the Chaturthi Tithi, which starts on September 18 at 12:39 PM and concludes on September 19 at 01:43 PM. During this time, devotees will perform special prayers and aarti, and offer Modaks, Lord Ganesha's favourite sweet, as a symbol of their love and devotion to Lord Ganesha. This grand festival ends with Ganesh Visarjan on the tenth day, which will fall on September 28.
The auspicious time for Madhyahna Ganesha Puja falls between 11:08 AM and 01:33 PM on September 19, providing a window for devotees to perform the main rituals and seek Lord Ganesha's blessings.
A significant aspect of this celebration is the strict adherence to the belief that sighting the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi can bring misfortune and false accusations. Therefore, devotees are advised to avoid moon sighting from 09:42 AM to 08:58 PM on September 19.
With the sunrise at 6:18 AM and the sunset at 6:23 PM on this day, the entire day will be filled with opportunities for devotees to come together, offer their prayers, and participate in processions that showcase the beautifully adorned idols of Lord Ganesha.
The fourth day of the Hindu lunar calendar is known as Chaturthi, and each month it is dedicated to honouring Lord Ganesha. When Chaturthi Tithi falls during the Krishna Paksha (Waning Moon), it is called Sankashti Chaturthi. Conversely, it is observed as Vinayaka Chaturthi when it falls on the Shukla Paksha (Waxing Moon). It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born during Vinayaka Chaturthi, which falls in the Hindu Calendar month of Bhadrapada. This is the reason why Bhadrapada Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi.
However, according to some Puranas, Lord Ganesha was born during the Magha Shukla Paksha Chaturthi, celebrated as Ganesh Jayanti, which falls during the month of January-February, and Ganesh Chaturthi is when Lord Ganesh comes down from Mount Kailash for eleven days to meet his brother Lord Kartikeya.
Ganesh Chaturthi not only fosters spirituality but also promotes unity and togetherness as communities join hands in crafting eco-friendly idols and organizing grand celebrations.
Ganesh Chaturthi, a day of religious magnificence, will forever remain etched in the hearts of the devotees, marking the enduring legacy of the benevolent elephant-headed deity symbolizing wisdom, prosperity, intelligence, and love.
(The mentioned timings are in IST, for Ujjain. Click here to change the location.)