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Vinayagar Chaturthi 2017: Birthday of Lord Vinayagar!
Vinayagar Chaturthi 2017 will be celebrated on 25th of August. Every year, Vinayagar Chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of the bright half of the Hindu month Bhadrapada. Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Hindu Lord Ganesha or Vinayagar. It is believed that he visits Earth during Vinayagar Chaturthi. That is why special arrangements are made in his welcome. Several events are planned and this festival begins 10 days before the actual day. The last day of the Vinayaka Chaturthi festival that is the main day is also known as Anant Chaturdashi. However, Vinayagar Chaturthi falls every month, but the main one comes once in a year and is celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Vinayaga.
About Lord Ganesha & Vinayagar Chaturthi
While celebrating Vinayagar Chaturthi, it is a good idea to know about this festival in detail. Lord Ganesha of Lord Vinayagar is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Vinayagar is widely worshipped as the Lord of wisdom, good fortune and prosperity. He is worshipped as the first Lord before the commencement of any auspicious event or new venture. The 10 day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is known as Ganeshotsav. Though this festival is celebrated with great zeal and gusto in all parts of India, but its extended version can be seen exclusively in some Southern states of India, namely - Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. Apart from India, Nepalese also celebrate it with same spirit. Hindus residing in other parts of world makes this festival a grand fiesta.
Vinayagar Chaturthi Celebration
Vinayagar Chaturthi, like every year, is going to be celebrated with great zeal. 2-3 months before the commencement of 10 days Vinayagar Chaturthi festival, artistic models of Lord Ganesha come in market for sale. These are mostly made using clay or Plaster of Paris. Especially skilled artisans work on these idols in the competition of making them as beautiful as possible. These idols are decorated and carved in various positions of Lord Vinayagar.
At the time of festival, some people establish these idols either in their houses or in a Pandala of an area. People contribute money for the setup and planning of the event of this 10 days beautiful festival. Temporary Pandals are set up along with various types of decorations. All the people worship Lord Ganesha here in groups. People use so many things to decorate these Pandals like flowers, garlands, lights, balloons and many more. Sometimes, decorations are made according to a planned theme. A Priest takes care of all the spiritual events during this 10 days festival.
Usually these priests dress themselves in red or white Dhoti and Uttareeyam (Shawl). With the chanting of Mantras, Priest infuses power of Lord Ganesha into his idol and hence people worship the idol throughout 10 days considering it Lord Vinayagar. The ritual of invoking life into the idol is known as Pran Pratishtha. After this ritual, the next ritual that follows is of Shodashopachara. As the name suggests, this ritual is about paying tribute to the Lord Vinayagar in 16 ways. During the process, idol of Lord Vinayaka is adorned with jaggery, coconut, 21 Druva (21 blades of grass), red flowers and 21 Modaks. While the ceremony is on, spiritual hymns keep on singing and playing by the people. These hymns are taken from Ganesha Stotra of Narada Purana, Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad and Rigveda.
Further, the process of Puja keeps on going till the next days of the festival. Finally, on the 10th day that is Anant Chaturdashi, idol of Lord Vinayaka is immersed in the flowing water. People take the idol of Lord Ganesha in a huge crowd toward a water body while singing and dancing the songs dedicated to Lord Ganesha. These songs are sung to request Vinayaka to come back again next year and bless them.
The entire process of Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayagar Chaturthi is done in a way that mesmerizes the senses of all the participants. With the vibes of ecstatic Vedic hymns, everything around becomes alive. It feels that Lord Vinayaka is speaking and peeking from all non living objects. Beauty of this festival is incredible and can't be expressed in words. One should definitely experience it. With this brief description of Vinayagar Chaturthi, we would like to wrap up this article here. Hope you would make the best out of this festival. Happy Vinayagar Chaturthi..!