States Tamil Nadu Festivals Vinayaka Chaturthi

Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival Tamil Nadu

Famed as Ganesh Chaturthi in other parts of the country, Vinayaka Chaturthi is a ten-day festival with the first day being dedicated to installation of Lord Ganesha's idol at homes and the last is marked with the submersion of it.

Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival Tamil Nadu

Bowing down to seek blessings from Lord Ganesha are the Tamil natives and tourists from across the globe swarming in the state to relish Vinayaka Chaturthi. This festival which is celebrated on the fourth day in the month of Bhadrapada (August- September) is one of the most sought-after reasons for an auspicious vacation in Tamilnadu. According to Hindu mythology, it's on this day that Lord Shiva beheaded Ganesha for not letting him set foot in his own abode as Ganesha was asked to guard while Goddess Parvati takes a bath. Upon knowing the reality, Lord realised his fault and gave life back to Ganesha by placing an elephant head on his body which was brought by one of his ganas. As for the celebrations, from the time Shivaji, the Maratha King ruled in India, the festivities used to take place as a public event by placing a public idol of the deity, where the first one ever was positioned by Bhausaheb Laxman Javale. Taking the legacy forth, to bring unity in Brahmins and Non-Brahmins, the famous Indian Nationalist Lokmanya Tilak turned the private celebration of this popular festival of Tamilnadu to a public scale. Much to everyone's surprise, Vinayaka Chaturthi also has its charm in tourism destinations like Cambodia, Afghanistan, China, Thailand and Nepal.

Brief History of the Festival

Going by the Hindu legend that is attached to the celebration of this festival, it is said that once Lord Shiva along with his Ganas(attendants) went out for hunting while Goddess Parvati (Lord Shiva's wife) was alone in their abode and wished of taking a bath. Finding no Ganas around, the Goddess sculpted Ganesha out of mud and asked him to guard the house and not let anyone come inside. Adhering to what the Goddess said, Ganesha didn't let even Lord Shiva enter the house, by which the Lord was enraged and beheaded Ganesha. Upon coming across the fatal incident, the Goddess was distressed making Lord Shiva realise that what he did was wrong. And hence he commanded one of his Ganas to bring back the head of the first animal he spots sleeping with his face towards the north and they brought the head of an elephant. Lord Shiva gave life back to Ganesha by placing the elephant's head on his body. It is believed that this event was observed on the fourth day of the month Bhadrapada(August-September).

Duration of the Festival

Making its place among the festival list of Tamil Nadu, Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated over a period of 11 days in the month of August/September annually to revere the Lord of New Beginnings.

Highlights/Rituals of the Festival

  • Kozhukattai, a sweet dish made of rice filled with jaggery and coconut is presented to Lord Ganesha and is known as one of his favourites.
  • Pran Pratishtha (inviting the divine deity to imbue in the idol), Shodashopachara (16 different ways of revering the Lord), Uttar Puja (the waves of the Lord leave the idol and once the idol is moved after this puja the rest of the waves depart) and Ganpati Visarjan (submerging the idol in the sea) are the 4 essential rituals that are followed during this festival.
  • Ananta Chaturdashi is known as the last day of the festival when the Lord's idol is immersed in the sea.

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