Why Hindus celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Ganesha Festival is a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi in Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, Chavath in Konkani and Chathaa in Nepali Bhasa.
Why Hindus celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?
It is celebrated as it is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). Typically, the day usually falls between 20 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi. This festival is observed in the lunar month of bhadrapada shukla paksha chathurthi madhyahana vyapini purvaviddha. If Chaturthi prevails on both days, the first day should be observed. Even if chaturthi prevails for complete duration of madhyahana on the second day, but if it prevails on previous day’s madhyahana period even for one ghatika (24 minutes) the previous day should be observed.
While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Goa (Biggest festival for Konkani people all over the world), Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas which were former states of the Maratha Empire. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal which was only Hindu Kingdom in the world and Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka.
Why do we eat modaks?
Modaks are not just tasty but they have health benefits too, revealed celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are incomplete without modak. Considered to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite, modak is a traditional sweet dumpling made of rice flour and coconut and jaggery filling. Here is an easy recipe you can try.
Modaks are not just tasty but they have health benefits too, revealed celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar. In an Instagram post, she explained in detail how the ingredients of modak boost one’s health.
Health benefits of modak
- Constipation: The ghee used to make modak helps in rebuilding intestinal mucus lining and eliminating toxins, Diwekar said.
- Blood pressure: The coconut filling has medium-chain triglycerides that protect the heart and keep blood pressure levels in check.
- Cholesterol: Diwekar mentioned that coconut, along with dry fruits used in the filling, have plant sterols that help reduce bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol levels.
- Diabetes: Modaks have medium to low glycemic index and can be safely consumed by diabetics, wrote Diwekar. It is “beneficial for a steady blood sugar response”, she added.
- Arthritis: “The butyric acid found in ghee is a traditional therapy for reducing inflammation in every tissue of the body, more specifically in the joints,” the nutritionist mentioned.
- PCOD: Polycystic ovary disease is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarging of ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. According to Diwekar, the rice flour used to make modak stabilises blood sugar. Besides, rice contains vitamin B1, which helps reduce PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and sugar cravings.
- Thyroid: Diwekar wrote, “Celebrated as an anti-ageing mixture, this is one delicacy that your thyroid gland will thank you for.”