Ganesha Jayanti is observed as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. As per Hindu calendar, it is observed on Shukla Chaturthi during Magha lunar month and currently coincides with January and February months in Gregorian calendar.
Ganesha Jayanti during Magha month is mainly observed in Maharashtra, Goa and coastal regions of Konkan. In most part of India, the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha is observed during Bhadrapada month and known as Ganesha Chaturthi. Similar to Ganesha Chaturthi, Madhyahna Vyapini Purvaviddha Chaturthi (मध्याह्न व्यापिनी पूर्वविद्धा चतुर्थी) is considered as Ganesha Jayanti.
Ganesha Jayanti is also known as Magha Shukla Chaturthi, Tilkund Chaturthi and Varad Chaturthi.
History and significance
Ganesha Jayanti differs from the more popularly celebrated festival of Ganesha Chatuthi which is celebrated across India in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (August/September). According to some traditions, Ganesha Chaturthi is also considered the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
Ancient customs dictate that on the occasion of Ganesha Jayanti, devotees are prohibited to look at the moon as it supposedly brings the viewer bad luck and suffering. If any person accidentally views the moon on this day, they have to observe a fast for the rest of the day and offer prayers to Lord Ganesha.
Legend has it that on this day, Chandra Dev, the Moon God, mocked Lord Ganesha’s appearance and teased him about his elephant’s head. Chandra Dev also boasted about his own good looks, which greatly angered Lord Ganesha and led him to curse Chandra Dev. Lord Ganesha told him that from that moment on no one would be able to witness the beauty that Chandra Dev so egotistically boasted of.
Shamed by his behaviour and fearful of the curse, the Moon God begged for mercy. Lord Ganesha then said that it would be impossible for him to take the curse back, but he could alter it. Lord Ganesha instructed Chandra Dev that from that point on, he will have to wax for 15 days and wane for the other 15, ensuring that the moon could only be witnessed in its complete glory for a short time.
In order to celebrate the auspicious occasion, devotees observe a day-long fast and offer prayers to the God of wisdom. Some even bring in new and adorned idols of Lord Ganesha into their home to ensure the prosperity of themselves and their family. Lord Ganesha, who is also known as the remover of obstacles is offered red cloth and sweets. Devotees as the Lord to remove any obstacles from their lives and allow them to follow Lord Ganesha in the path of the light.
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