Ganesh Chaturthi 2018 Date in India: Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important festivals of Hindus in India. On this day, the birth of Ganesha is commemorated and this year, it will be celebrated on September 13. Observed with much fervour and excitement, people install handcrafted idols of Ganesha in their homes.
This is followed by a 16 step ritual known as Shodashopachara Puja. During the puja, offerings that are believed to be a favourite of Ganesha are made to the idol as bhog. These include modak, shrikhand, coconut rice, motichoor laddoo, payasam and medu vada, among others.
Like all Hindu pujas, there is a specific auspicious time for the ritual and on Ganesh Chaturthi, it should be done around midday, called Madhyahna. This is believed to be the time when Ganesha was born.
One superstition dictates not looking at the moon at certain times on Ganesh Chaturthi. According to belief, if a person sees the moon, they will be cursed with accusations of theft and dishonoured by people unless they chant a specific mantra.
This is believed to have originated from the myth when Krishna was falsely accused of stealing a valuable jewel. Sage Narada said that Krishna must have seen the moon on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (the occasion that Ganesh Chaturthi falls on) and was cursed because of it.
At the start of the puja, the Ganesha idol is worshipped every day and an arti is performed in the evening to round off the ritual. The Ganesha idols are taken out and immersed in water on Anant Chaturdasi.