Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' or 'Vinayaka Chavithi' is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the grandest and most elaborate of them, especially in the western india state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of 'Ananta Chaturdashi'.
A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of ganesh chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet. On the day of the festival, it is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage. The priest, usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl, then invokes life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called 'pranapratishhtha'. 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 ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.
Do you offer water to God everyday? Most of us would remember that our grandparents use to get up early in the morning and offer water to Sun, also known as sun salutation. It is believed that offering water to the Sun in the wee hours of morning provides you with positive energy and makes your day better. According to Hindu mythology, the sun is called the soul of the universe. It is believed that brightness of the sun gives knowledge, shows us the right path and speeds us up.
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