Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Ganesha, the famous elephant-headed Hindu deity, on earth from the sacred Mount Kailash. Common festival celebrations include the private worshipping of small idols dedicated to the deity at home, as well as the setting up and decoration of massive, elaborate statues of Ganesha on public podiums known as pandals.
Ganesh Chaturthi lasts 10 days and falls on the sixth month of the Hindu calendar, meaning that the exact festival dates change every year. It’s typically celebrated between August and September and, in 2022, Ganesh Chaturthi will be held between August 30 and September 9.
|Celebration||Ganesh Chaturthi||Anant Chaturdashi|
|Dates||August 30 and September 9||September 9th|
|Days||Tuesday to Friday||Thursday|
|Event details||Small Ganesha idols are worshipped privately in households and huge, intricate statues are displayed in public.||Statues of Ganesha are paraded through the streets in lively processions and then immersed into bodies of water.|
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated for 10 days and ends with Anant Chaturdashi, when statues of Ganesha are immersed into bodies of water on the eleventh day. Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi typically begin well in advance, with artisans carving out statues of the deity months before the festival.
In 2022, Ganesh Chaturthi will take place between August 30nd and 31st, however it’s not a public holiday across all of India. The festival is a regional holiday celebrated in states such as Maharashtra, Goa, and Tamil Nadu, as well as among Hindu communities in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the UK, North America, and Mauritius.
Depending on what part of the country you’re in, Ganesh Chaturthi may also be celebrated under a different name, fall on a different date, or involve different celebrations. Moreover, since it’s considered an optional holiday, some companies in India may choose not to give their employees time off.
Below is a list of the different events across India, along with the dates on which they fall and a brief description of the celebrations involved:
|Ganesh Chaturthi||Maharashtra||August 30 and September 9||Small Ganesha idols are worshipped in private households and are offered prayers and gifts for 10 days.|
|Chavath||Goa||August 30 and September 9||Women will fast and worship Shiva and Parvati. Instruments like ghumots, crash cymbals, and pakhavaj are played throughout certain rituals.|
|Gowri Habba||Karnataka||August 30||People, especially married women, worship Parvati, the Hindu goddess of fertility and the mother of Ganesha.|
|Ganesh Chaturthi||Andhra Pradesh||August 30 and September 9||Small Ganesha idols are worshipped in private households.|
|Vinayaka Chaturthi||Tamil Nadu||August 30 and September 9||Small Ganesha idols are worshipped in private households.|
|Lamboodhara Piranalu||Kerala||August 30 and September 9||Festivities start at the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, where huge statues of Ganesha made out of organic materials and milk are marched in a procession to Shankumugham Beach to be immersed in the ocean.|
As with other Hindu festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi is based on the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which has been used by Hindus across the globe to keep track of religious festivals for thousands of years.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated during the sixth month of the Hindu calendar, otherwise known as Bhadrapada, which usually falls on the new moon between August and September every year.
Aside from Ganesh Chaturthi, a few other Hindu festivals are also celebrated throughout Bhadrapada, though Ganesh Chaturthi is the month’s main festival. Some of the other festivals include Krishna Janmashtami, celebrating the birth of the deity Krishna, and Hartalika Teej Vrat, a festival welcoming the monsoon season and celebrating the union of the goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
The following is a list of all the Ganesh Chaturthi dates from 1990 to 2030:
|Year||Ganesh Chaturthi Date||Day|
As a traveler, the best thing to do during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is to go pandal hopping — which involves visiting as many Ganesh idols as you can. Considering that roughly 10,000 statues dedicated to the elephant-headed deity are installed in Mumbai alone, pandal hopping isn’t as easy as it sounds!
Another great aspect of this festival is the food. Sweets are one of the main foods served at Ganesh Chaturthi, with the most popular being modak, rice dumplings filled with coconut, barfi, a sweet milk-based treat, and ladoo, fried balls of batter topped with chopped nuts or raisins.
You can also choose the watch the Pranapratishhtha Puja ritual, said to summon Ganesha’s presence. In this ritual, statues of the deity are smeared with red Chandan powder and presented with various offerings such as sweets, flowers, rice, coconut, and jaggery.
At the end of the festival, don’t forget to watch the Ganesha statues as they’re paraded around the city and immersed into nearby bodies of water. This symbolizes the deity’s homeward journey to Mount Kailash, home to his parents Shiva and arvati.
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