Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi of the Hindu month of Bhadra (generally falls between August and September). This festival is celebrated by Hindus with a great enthusiasm. People bring idols of Lord Ganesh to their homes and do worship.The duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days, depending on the place and tradition. On the last day of the festival the idols are taken out in a colorful and musical procession and immersed traditionally in water.
As per Hindu mythology Lord Ganesh is considered as “Vighna Harta” (one who removes obstacles) and “Buddhi Pradaayaka” (one who grants intelligence). A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 50 feet.
On the day of the festival, it is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage. The priest, usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl, then invokes life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called ‘pranapratishta’. After this the ‘shodashopachara’ (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 ‘modakas’ (rice flour preparation), 21 ‘durva’ (trefoil) blades and red flowers are offered. The idol is anointed with red unguent or sandal paste (rakta chandan).
In Hyderabad this festival is celebrated for nine days and on the tenth day all the idols would be taken in processions with lots of music to Tank bund and other lakes for immersion. This year also the immersion started yesterday (18th Sep 2013 ) . This year women stole the lime light. They came out in large numbers danced energetically and participated in the processions. From the distribution of prasad to decorating idols the women did it all. But this year the heavy rains slowed down the immersion of idols but not the enthusiasm of the people and bhakthas of ganesha. The voice of Ganapathi pappa moriya reached the skies.
A sweet named ‘Laddu’ is placed in the hand of the god. This year a six-foot diameter, 3,500 kg ‘Huge Laddu’ is made as a special offering to the Khairatabad Ganesh, Hyderabad, the State capital of AndhraPradesh.
Prices of laddus at auctions across the city sky-rocketed this year While the highest bid received for the Yellareddyguda laddu was Rs 18 lakhs , the Ameerpet laddu went for Rs 13 lakhs and the Balapur ganesh laddu for Rs 9.26 lakhs. Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav samithi may have decided that the festival will be celebrated for only ten days but Lord Ganesha seems to have desired that the city bid adieu to him on the 11 th day too. At last the city’s festive fervor ends grandly today.