Vinayagar/Ganesh Chathurthi Celebrations

Vinayagar Chathurthi or Ganesh Chathurthi is the most famous festival celebrating Lord Ganesha in India. The festival is very popular and celebrated with great pomp and show for 10 days in North India.

Ganesh pooja falls on the fourth day after the new moon in the month of Āvaṇi in the Tamil calendar or Shravana month in sanskrit.

Vinayagar chathurthi

What is Chathurthi?

Chaturthi, is the fourth day of any lunar month in the Hindu calendar. The fourth day of waxing moon in the month of aavani/shravana is celebrated as Ganesh Chathurthi.

How it is Celebrated ?

As a South-Indian, i m elaborating, how we celebrate ganesh chathurthi at home. Please note, pooja method vary according to your house-hold.

We buy freshly made clay-idols of Ganesha on the morning of the festival. These idols will be made right in front of us, more prominent areas in the city will have a small tent with 2 or 3 people making these fresh clay-idols. The workers will have a mountain of fresh clay and molds to make ganesha. We have to pick the size of the idol we want, then they make it fresh for us. My dad and my brother go to the market area to get the idol.

We take a wooden plank, freshly decorated with rice flour rangoli. The idol would almost stick to the plank because of the clay. So,there is very less chance of someone tipping the Ganesha while bringing it home. When Ganesha enters the house, amma welcomes him with a song and the idol will be placed into the pooja mandap.

Since i m here at sharjah, i make my own ganesha idol with rice flour/clay at home every year. Here is the link on

The advantage of making a rice flour ganesha is that i do the immersion at home in a bucket and use that water to feed my plants.

Pooja Begins

Now let us see how to do the poojai. As a tambrahm we have a Pooja vinadham book, which contains detailed instructions on each and every poojai.

As with every pooja, we start with small ganesh pooja, we pray to him to bless us to do the Vinayagar pooja without any hurdles. After this we do the Sankalpam of the day.

The Sankalpam contains the details of day, month, year, star/nakshathra, Thithi, place, continent details of the pooja. The next step is doing aavahanam or the invocation, inviting the deity to the ceremony .

After this invocation, we do prana prathishta, a process consecrating the idol/murti.

After prana pratistha, we offer shodasha upachara, 16 steps of respect/pooja done to the idol. Here we chant mantras and invocate the idol, offer him a seat, wash his feet, offer water to wash his body, give him water wash his mouth, offer him clothes, upaveedham/sacred thread/janua to him. Then offer him incense, perfume and make him comfortable and begin the flowers archanai chanting his 108 names.

After the pooja we offer food/neivedhiyam. The most famous offering for ganesh pooja is Modak/Modagam. I have few modagam recipes in my kitchen, which i will list here.

Modagam

CHATHURTHI OFFERINGS/NEIVEDHIYAMS

savory kozhukattai

Savory Kozhukattai/Savory Dumplings

Apart from kozhukattai/Dumplings we also make Idly and sundal as offerings to Lord Ganesha

Black chana sundal

Here are some sundal varieties

If you are not comfortable making modak, you can choose make a simple kheer and sundal as offering.

Milk kheer

Kheer Recipes

The most important offering for pooja is your self. Many stay in places where they cannot find the necessary items for a proper pooja. But always remember, God doesn’t demand anything else but our sincere dedication, and love. Wishing you all a blessed Ganesh Pooja. May the God of all new beginnings, bless one and all abundantly.

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