Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with extreme enthusiasm in India. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is celebrated with immense zeal and fervor throughout the country, however the celebrations of this festival in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are well known for their exceptional grandeur every where. The entire celebration of this festival goes on for ten days. On the final day of the festival, the devotees of Ganesha observe a whole day fast and take out a long procession of the Lord in the city. During these ten days, the devotees gather together for the celebration every day at the temporarily arranged Pandal to worship their deity. They also sing songs, burst crackers and dance to the tune of traditional drums in order to express their gaiety.
Puja on Ganesha Chaturthi
It is generally preferable to do Ganesha puja on the Chaturthi day at the noon, however you can perform the pooja as per your wish whenever all the members of your family are present. In order to carry on the pooja, you will require following items- A Clay image of Lord Ganesha, flowers, druva grass blades, sweets (preferably Modak), coconut, sandalwood paste and incense sticks. The Pooja begins with the establishment of idol on a higher platform and giving it a bathe with Panchamrit. You can now pray to Lord Ganesh and recite all the mantras or bhajans dedicated to Lord Ganesha. You now have to invoke Lord Ganesha through your prayers and bring life in the idol. The mantra for this can be found in the in the Rig Veda and is part of Ganesh Suktha.
Once you invoke life in the idol, you need to light lamp and incense sticks in order to please Lord Ganesha. After this, you need to perform the shhodashopachara, which are 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha. In this you need to offer 21 blades of druva grass, 21 modakas, and flowers to Lord Ganesha. You need to apply a tilak using red Sandalwood paste to idol and keep the coconut along with the idol. After you have offered your best possible prasada to the Lord, you simply need to recite the 108 salutations dedicated to Lord Ganesha. All the family members can then bow down to Ganesha and seek his blessings. The puja is performed in a similar way even if it is a community fest. You need not to exceptionally elaborate the rituals of the Pooja rather all you need to do is pray with a clean heart and pious objective.