Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Date: The annual festival of Ganesha Chaturthi marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It involves 10 days of celebration and takes place in the Bhadrapada month as per the Hindu calendar. The auspicious festival begins on August 22 this year, which is a Saturday. The festival inaugurates with people bringing or making clay idols (murtis) of the Lord, and concludes on the day of Anant Chaturdashi, when the idol is submerged in the nearest body of water, called Ganesha visarjan.
Lord Ganesha is one of the most worshipped deities amongst Indian Hindus. Also known as Vinayaka or Ganpati, the elephant God is revered as the God of beginnings and the remover of obstacles.
The 10 days of festivities involve rituals, making traditional sweets and offering them to all. The Ganesh idol is worshipped in the morning as well as evening, with offerings of flowers as well as confections, like modak, which is said to be God’s favourite. The puja ends with an ‘aarti’ for Ganesha, as well as other Gods. Public celebrations of the festival are popular too and are organised by local youth groups or neighbourhood associations. Funds for the same are collected from members of the community. Huge temporary structures called pandals are erected which house the idol of Ganesh. The chant of “Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya”, inviting the God to come again next year, can be heard echoing everywhere.
In 1893, Lokmanya Tilak, using Lord Ganesh’s image as “the God for everyman”, made Ganesh Chaturthi a public festival. This was done to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins, in order to unite forces against the British. During the ten days commemorating Ganesha’s birth, people rejoice as they entrust the Lord with their troubles.
However, the festival will be a low-key affair this year due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in many areas.