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Ganesha Chaturthi, the festival of Lord Ganesha shall be observed on September 13, 2018. Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati visits the houses of his devotees as a guest during this festival, where they worship him for ten days. Thereafter, the idol is immersed in water. A whole procession is carried out by a mass of people in which the idol of Lord Ganesha is carried to a sea or river on the tenth day from Chaturthi when he is to be immersed in water. People buy new idols which signifies the homecoming of Lord Ganesha.
Ganesha Chaturthi this year is being celebrated on September 13, 2018. The preparations are in full swing. The festival will continue for ten days and will end on September 23, 2018.
Ganesha Sthapana Muhurta
Ganesha Sthapana muhurta refers to the auspicious time during which bringing an idol of Ganesha at home and installing it in the puja room is considered to be very auspicious. The auspicious muhurta this year will be from 11:08 am to 1:34 pm on September 13, 2018.
Installing The Idol Of Ganesha
After taking bath and cleaning the puja area, take a stool and cover it with a red cloth. In the top middle area of the stool, spread some rice and install the idol of Lord Ganesha on the layer of rice. Make sure the trunk of Ganesha in the idol is turned to the left and that the colour of the idol is either vermilion or white.
Kalash Sthapana And Riddhi Siddhi
Take a copper pot (also known as Kalash), and fill it with water up to the brim. Cover it with a red cloth and tie both the Kalash and the cloth together using a moli (the sacred red thread). Keep the Kalash in the north-west or on the left side of the idol of Ganesha.
Do not forget to place two betel nuts (supari) one on each side of Ganesha's idol. These symbolise the two wives of Lord Ganesha, Riddhi and Siddhi.
Sankalpa And Mantras
Sankalpa refers to the vow taken by a devotee of offering prayers to Ganesha for a specific number of days. After installing the idol, one should take some akshat (whole and not broken grains of rice) and flowers in the right hand and then make the vow.
The following mantras can be chanted during the puja:
1. Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kurume Dev, Sarvakaryeshu Sarvada
2. Om Ganeshaya Namah
Give Gangajal bath and Panchamrit bath to Lord Ganesha with the help of Durva grass or Pan patta (betel leaves). Perform the Shodashopchar puja and decorate the idol in yellow-coloured clothes. Then mark a tilak with vermilion and akshat (whole grains of rice). Offer flowers and sweets to Lord Ganesha. You can offer modak or laddu as prasad. You can offer Panchameva (five fruits) as well. Thereafter, you can light a lamp and perform the arti.
Offer Bhog Three Times A Day
Food is very dear to Lord Ganesha and sweets, especially laddu and modak are considered his favourite foods. Therefore, we should offer laddu and modak to him. Moreover, Ganesha comes to our house as a guest; therefore, we should offer food to him three times a day for the entire period of ten days.
One should abstain from looking at the moon on the day of Ganesha Chaturthi, as doing so is considered inauspicious.