Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the biggest festivals celebrated all over India. Not only is this festival celebrated in temples and pandals but also at homes. Many people place Ganapati idols in their house to celebrate this festival. Many interesting rituals are associated with Ganesh Puja. Every family or community has its own rituals for Ganesh puja.
But there are some rituals that are common for everyone. Ganesh Chaturthi is not a one day festival. It goes on for 10 days of festivities. You can choose to keep Ganesha in your home for 1 and half days, three days, five days, seven days or nine days. Here are some of the most basic Hindu rituals associated with Ganesha puja.
Placing The Idol
First of all, the idol of Ganesha has to be placed on a high pedastal that serves as his throne. The kids in the family usually decorates the area surrounding the Ganesh pedastal. You can use flowers and colourful papers to decorate the idol. You can also make crafts like caves, fountains etc to make your Ganesha idol look attractive.
After placing the idol, the next ritual of Ganesha puja is to sprinkle holy Gange waters on the idol and do the ‘pranpratishtha’. This is the ‘life installing’ Hindu rituals are performed with the help of Vedic mantras.
Riddhi n Siddi
Many families choose to keep the two wives of Ganesha ‘Riddhi’ and ‘Siddhi’ along with him. These two women are also worshiped along with Ganapati during the 9 day festivities.
Aarti is the most important ritual associated with Ganesha puja. Aarti is basically a collection of songs that are sung in praise of Ganesha. All the family members gather together in the morning and evening and sing praises of the elephant lord. A plate with an oil lamp is moved in circular motion in front of the idol the aartis are sung.
Modaks n Ladoos
Ganesha is a Hindu God with a very good appetite. And he has a special weakness for sweets. That is why, Ganesha’s favourite sweets ladoos and modaks are offered to him on Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Bitter Modak
During the aarti, modaks are offered to Lord Ganesha. One of the modaks in the plate is made with a bitter filling purposely. When the sweets are distributed, the one who gets the bitter modak is supposed to have a lucky year ahead.
The last ritual of Ganesha puja is visarjan or immersion. While Ganesha idols are taken to the nearest water body to do visarjan, the young people play with gulaal. They also sing and dance to bid adieu to Lord Ganesha. These are some of the lively rituals associated with Ganesha puja.