Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi. This year, it will be celebrated from September 19 to September 28. It is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India, especially in western Maharashtra and in the Nalanda district, Bihar. Lord Ganesha is referred to as Budhwa Ganesh in Nalanda district. An attractive statue of Budhwa Ganesha is prepared in the Sohsarai police station area, Nalanda headquarters, Bihar Sharif.
There are some other interesting features as well related to the celebration of this festival in Nalanda. Researcher Suresh Prasad and his student Simran said that the tradition of worshipping Budhwa Ganesh has continued for the past 125 years. Also, unlike the common practice of the 10-day celebration, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated here for 12 days. Suresh Prasad added that the celebration of this festival started 125 years back when businessmen from Maharashtra and Gujarat used to arrive in Bihar for work. Once, they couldn’t return back to their homes, at the time of Ganesh Chaturthi. They then decided to commemorate the festival in Nalanda by making an idol of Lord Ganesha. This practice has continued to date.
Suresh further said that at one point in time, people from Bengal and Uttar Pradesh also used to reach Nalanda to take part in Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Now, people from other districts of Bihar have also started to celebrate the festival; but, earlier, only the locals from Nalanda used to observe it. During this 12-day festival, the natives in Nalanda place Lord Ganesha’s idol in their homes, on the occasion of Bhado ki Chauth. Then, the devotees take out the procession of Lord Ganesha, on the auspicious occasion of Ashwin Dooj. They leave no stone unturned to take out the procession in a grand manner and celebrate it with dance and music. They then immerse the Lord Ganesha and this marks the end of the festival.
The Chaturthi tithi will begin at 12:39 p.m. on September 18 and conclude at 1:43 pm on September 19.