Which god worship on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi?
As the name of the puja suggests, Lord Ganesha worship on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
What are the other names for this puja? (If any)
Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi and Ganeshotsav are the other names for this puja.
History of the above occasion
Origin of this puja is not clearly known, It begins from Pune, it was celebrated as an event of public from the time of the Shivaji (1630-80), the ruler and founder of Maratha and then from 1749-1818,it was celebrated by the Peshwas but soon Peshwas were fall and then in 1893, it was celebrated by Lokmanya Tilak, the social reformer and great freedom fighter as a large public event and soon he popularized it as a national festival. The reason behind this because he wanted to unite Brahmins and non Brahmins. He was the first one who install big public images of Lord Ganesha and on the last day of the event immersed them in water such as lake, river or sea.
He encourages people to participate in the event and then they started doing so many activities such as dancing, music, reciting poems, performing plays. The occasion served as a time to meet every one of each and every caste, form social gatherings and enjoying a lot. This begins the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi all over the country , especially in Maharashtra as the history begins from Pune, a city of Maharashtra.
What is the significance of the above occasion?
This occasion is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, who first worship among all the gods in every puja, occasion to make it successful. Thus everyone worship Lord Ganesha on this day so as to get the good blessings which helps to remove all the obstacles of life.
What are the things or material required for the worship of this puja?
Idol or statue of Lord Ganesha, jaggery, red flowers, coconut, modak as Prasad, fresh grass blades ,Kumkum, Sandalwood paste, decorative items, herbal leaves, plants, water.
What is the vidhi (method) of worship?
This puja begins with the installation of statue of Lord Ganesha in homes or in pandals. Before this, pandals and homes are decorated by people. Then, priest chant mantras while praying Lord Ganesha. The name of the ritual is Pranapratishhtha. Next, ritual Shhodashopachara follows. After this, jaggery, red flowers, coconut, modak as Prasad, fresh grass blades are offered. Then, roli i.e. kumkum and sandalwood paste are put on the statue as tika. While worshipping god, Rig Veda’s Vedic hymns, Narada Purana’s Ganeshastotra and Ganapati AtharvaShirsha Upanishad are chanted for all the time. The puja goes like this and on the last day, Ganpati Ji immersed by the people in a water (lake, sea or river).Then herbal leaves, plants are also added in the water to make it purified and clean. This is the tradition as in the early days, people used to drink the water of the lake and so as to offer protection to them from all kinds of virals and infections, this was started.
How to celebrate this occasion?
This occasion involves the different days (either 1,3,5,7,11)worship of images or idol of Lord Ganesha made up of clay in the pandalsor homes with various herbal plants, leaves and on the last day, the idol of god is immersed in the water of lake, river or sea and people at home immersed in bucket or tub of water. Pandals are formed by large no. of people in a group or locality and decorated with flowers, colours and other items. People celebrate this occasion by offering Modak (Laddu) to Lord Ganesha as this is the favourite sweet dish of Ganesha. Another sweet dish offered is Karanji. In different states, people offered some more sweets. With this, cultural programs also took place such as performing plays, music, folk dances, reciting poetry and film festivals.
What are the timings to celebrate this puja or occasion in a year?
As per the Hindu Calendar, this puja starts from Bhadrapada shukla chaturthi and ends on Anant Chaturdashi. It usually comes in August or September.
In which parts of the country, this puja is considered as more important?
It is celebrated throughout the country but in Telangana and Maharashtra, this puja is considered as more important and in Southern India and Western India also it is celebrated.