Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with much fanfare across the country. It falls in the Shukla Paksha of the Bhadrapada month - in August or September. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 22. Ganesha is considered the God of wisdom and remover of all obstacles. Devotees bring idols of Lord Ganesha to home in the beginning of Ganeshotsav and bid him farewell on Anant Chaturdashi by immersing the idols in nearby water bodies. The festivities go on for 10 days.
However, this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, celebrations will remain low-key. People are advised to refrain from organising large gatherings to keep the coronavirus at bay and prevent its spread.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga made a clay idol of Ganesha and breathed life into it. She asked him not let anyone in the chambers while she bathed. When Lord Shiva came back from a mission, he tried to meet his wife, but Ganesha did not allow him to do so. To get rid of him, Lord Shiva sent his army which Ganesha defeated easily. Angered with this, he severed his head. When the Goddess learnt of this, she got so livid that she threatened to unleash hell on earth. In order to quell her anger, Lord Shiva offered to bring back Ganesha to life, but Goddess Durga did not agree.
Then the Goddess put a condition that she would only calm down if Lord Shiva promised to her that Ganesha would be worshipped before all gods. Lord Shiva agreed to this and asked Nandi to bring the head of any living creature that was closest to them. Nandi brought the head of an elephant and it was placed on Ganesha’s head, leading to his rebirth. That’s why Ganesh Chaturthi is observed before other Hindu festivals.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: Puja timing, muhurat
The muhurat for puja is between 11.06 am and 01.42 pm on August 22, according to Drik Panchang. The tithi for the festival starts at 11.02 pm on August 21, and ends at 7.57 pm on August 22.
How Ganesh Chaturthi is commemorated
Devotees worship Lord Ganesh, perform aarti in the morning and evening, and offer him besan ladoos. They visit each other’s house during aarti time. But, this time, people should try to offer prayers at home and not to visit temples or crowded places because of the pandemic.