MahaGanapathi Utsav Samithi

Ganesh Chaturthi

Celebration

Foreword

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated with a great devotion. As said the day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesh is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi of the Hindu month of Bhadra (generally falls between August and September). This festival is celebrated by Hindus with a great enthusiasm. People bring idols of Lord Ganesh to their homes and do worship. The duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days, depending on the place and tradition. On the last day of the festival the idols are taken out in a colorful and musical procession and immersed traditionally in water.

As per Hindu mythology Lord Ganesh is considered as “Vigana Harta” (one who removes obstacles) and “Buddhi Pradaayaka” (one who grants intelligence). This festival is very important for students; they worship Lord Ganesh to illumine their minds.

We would like to inform the devotees that the GANESH CHATURTI Celebrations in MIDLANDS will lasts for One whole day (either on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th or 10th day) between Ganesh Chaturthi (1st Day) and Ananta Chaturdasi (10th day).


Typical Celebration Day Activities:


Utsav (The Celebration) - AM

We welcome and expect the whole community in and around MIDLANDS to come and worship the preventer of obstacles; as the celebration in MIDLANDS provides an opportunity to participate in Pooja, Bhajans, Performances, Auction, Procession, Immersion etc.

The day of celebration usually starts at 9am and will go on till 6pm. With a common view and to ensure that an enthusiastic spiritual atmosphere prevails throughout the celebration and the day begins with placing the Ganesha idol on a raised platform in an elaborately decorated manner for people to view and pay their homage.

(A life-like eco-friendly model of Lord Ganesha is made to order by an experienced idol making community in India 3-4 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Birmingham. Once the idol is prepared, It is then carefully exported to us in Birmingham. The size of the idol usually varies between 3-5 feet.)

We then start the Vinayaka Chavithi vrata sankalpam with the priest invoking life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called 'Praana Pratishta'.

After this the 'shhodashopachara' (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, Jaggery, 21 'modakas' (rice flour preparation), 21 'durva' (trefoil) blades and red flowers are offered. The idol is anointed with red unguent or sandal paste (rakta chandan).

Throughout the celebration, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted. Haarathi is offered to the Lord throughout the day at regular intervals.


Utsav (The Celebration) - PM

As we all know that ‘Annam Para Brahma Swarupam’. Food only can support the body to attain Dharma, Artha, Kamaand Moksha. The person, who participates and has food in a divine environment, is considered to be blessed by divine Gods. So we offer Annadanam as lunch to all the participants during the celebration.

Annadanam is followed by various performances from Bhajans to Singing to Dancing or even some devotional talk.

Evening kicks off with the auction of Lord Ganesha’s Laddu.

“Many consider the auction as a financial exercise but we, LORD MAHAGANAPATHI USTAV SAMITHI look at it as a means to serve people,” The idea was not to make money but to do something for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. While, the successful bidders are blessed with prosperity, the Ganesh Utsav Samithi utilises every penny gained out of the auction for making the celebration better.

Lord Ganesha is known for bestowing prosperity and this is what the Lord's laddu has done with different people for the past few years. The laddu auction has now become synonymous with the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. While some consider it as a blessing of the Lord of Beginnings, others look at it as a sentiment.

After the Laddu auction, Lord Ganesh is offered prayers and the Ganesha idol is taken through the BIRMINGHAM streets in a procession accompanied with chanting, dancing, singing etc to be immersed in a nearby lake symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all of us.

We welcome all the devotees to join in this final procession shouting "Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya" (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is given, idol is carried to the lake and immersed.