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Ganesha Charturthi celebrates the homecoming of Lord Ganesha. It is a ten-day festival, which falls during the Shukla Paksha or the brighter phase of the Bhadrapad month. All the devotees keep an idol of Lord Ganesha and worship it during these ten days.
A vow to perform puja for three, five, seven or nine days is taken. When the vow has been fulfilled, the idol of Lord Ganesha is immersed in water.
Various Stories Behind The Festival
Though the festival is celebrated in all parts of India, one might find some variations in the stories associated with it. While according to one story, the festival is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, it is celebrated as a day when Lord Ganesha visits the homes of his devotees by some other people.
How The Visarjan Is Performed
On the tenth day or the day of Visarjan, the idol of Ganesha is carried in a procession where all the devotees gather and carry the idol generally on a chariot to immerse it in water in a sea or a river. The devotees go singing and dancing to the tune of devotional songs dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The procession is carried out with great pomp and show.
Why The Visarjan Is Performed
A beautiful story goes about this ritual as well. Once when Maharishi Ved Vyas decided to write the Mahabharata, he invoked Lord Ganesha to get his blessings. It is said that Maharishi Ved Vyas then requested Ganesha to write down the Mahabharata as he himself would narrate it. Lord Ganesha agreed on one condition that Ved Vyas would narrate it without pausing anywhere. Maharishi too took a promise that Ganesha should first understand and write only after that.
Maharishi Ved Vyas Was Surprised
Thus, as both sat to jot down the holy book, it is said that Maharishi went on narrating for ten days, with his eyes closed. He did not open his eyes even once. And when he opened his eyes, ten days had passed. Much to his surprise, Lord Ganesha who had been writing for the last ten days had become excessively heated. His body was burning with heat and it needed instant soothing. As a remedy, he carried little Ganesha and gave him dips in a Kund (a small water body) nearby.
Ganesha Visarjan 2018
The day when Ganesha came to Ved Vyas' Ashram and began to write was a Chaturthi during Shukla Paksha of the Bhadrapad month. It was a Chaturdashi, ten days having passed since they began with the Mahabharata, in the same month. To mark the day when Ganesha was given a holy dip by the sage, his idol is immersed in water after a puja of ten days on the day of Chaturdashi.