When to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi 2023?: Ganpati Puja Muhurat, Rituals and Celebrations in India

When to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi 2023? Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi, is popular Hindu festival celebrated in India.

It marks the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who is widely revered as the remover of obstacles and patron of arts, sciences and intellect.

The festival is marked with great fervour and devotion across the country, especially in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This 10-day-long festival typically takes place in the months of August or September as per the Hindu calendar.

Lord Ganesha is endearingly called ‘Vighnaharta’ meaning the remover of obstacles and is worshipped at the beginning of any new venture or journey. His blessings are sought by devotees starting new businesses, ventures, religious ceremonies, marriages, education, etc. The reverence and popularity of Ganesha extends beyond India with Hindus across the world celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi.

The Legend and Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chaturthi)

There are a few popular legends related to the birth of Lord Ganesha and how he came to have an elephant head. The most common story relates to Parvati, the mother goddess and consort of Lord Shiva.

It is said that Goddess Parvati created a little boy out of sandalwood paste and infused life into him, declaring him to be her son. She then tasked him with guarding the entrance while she took a bath. When Lord Shiva returned, the boy did not recognize him and stubbornly blocked his way and denied him entry. Angered at being stopped by this unknown child, Shiva cut off the boy’s head. When Parvati realized what had happened, she was distraught and pleaded with Shiva to revive their son.

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To console Mata Parvati, Lord Shiva promised that he would bring the boy back to life. He instructed his followers to get him the head of the first living being they come across. The followers came across an elephant and brought back its severed head. Lord Shiva then joined the elephant’s head to the boy’s body, thus reviving him and giving birth to Lord Ganesha. That is how Ganesha came to have an elephant head and gained his status as being the foremost among the gods.

Another tale suggests Ganesha was created by the combined energies of Parvati and Shiva. Nevertheless, Ganesha’s elephant head makes him easily identifiable and reflects wisdom, intelligence and discretion. It symbolizes the ability to cut through complexity and get to the core of truth.

The festival commemorates this significant event in Ganesha’s life and celebrates his birth. It honours his role as the god of beginnings who removes obstacles and enables progress.

When to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi 2023?

The timing of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival coincides with the arrival of the monsoons and the sowing season – a time when new projects and journeys commence. The festival inspires devotees to pray for success in their new ventures and seek Ganesha’s blessings for an auspicious start just as he ensures smooth progress.

According to the Hindu Panchang (calendar), the Chaturthi tithi of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha will be from 02:09 pm on September 18 to 03:13 pm on September 19.

Therefore, Ganesh Chaturthi festival will be celebrated with great fervour on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

On September 19, the auspicious time (puja muhurat) for worship will be from 11:01 AM to 01:26 PM which is the best muhurat for performing the Ganesh sthapana rituals.

The idol of Lord Ganesha can be brought home and kept covered with a red cotton cloth between the two muhurat times on Ganesh Chaturthi. The unveiling or sthapana of the idol should be done at the start of the morning puja muhurat on September 19.

When to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi 2023

How Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chaturthi) is Celebrated?

Being one of the most important religious festivals in India, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with enthusiasm and vigour across the length and breadth of the country. Elaborate preparations begin days or weeks in advance.

Homes and public arenas are beautifully decorated with fresh flowers, strings of lights and colorful rangolis (patterns made from rice flour, flower petals, powders, etc). Communities organize cultural activities like plays, dance programs, sports competitions, fights, quiz contests and orchestras during this festive time. Devotees also install big and small idols of Ganesha in their homes, temples and local pandals (temporary shrines). These idols are specially crafted in various poses and tableaux for the occasion.

The day of Ganesh Chaturthi begins with elaborate rituals and prayers offered to Ganesha idols in homes and temples. Vermilion, flowers, durva grass and his favorite sweet – modaks, are offered along with chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts like the Ganesha Atharvashirsa, Ganesha Upanishad, Ganesha Sahasranam etc. Families invite relatives and friends to join them in seeking his divine blessings.

In parts of Goa and Maharashtra, celebrations extend over five, seven or ten days with cultural activities continuing late into the night. The streets are dazzled with lights and active throughout the night with people making their way to various pandals to seek Ganesha’s darshan. Artists and performers from all over are also invited to entertain the crowds. From classical dancers, theatre artists, and singers to celebrity performances – the nights come alive with energetic festivities.

The day following Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as ‘Gauri Habba’ or ‘Gauri Puja’ in honour of Goddess Parvati, the mother goddess.

The Immersion Ceremony and its Significance

The festival culminates on the tenth day known as ‘Anant Chaturdashi’ when the idols are taken out in colourful processions for immersion in nearby rivers, lakes or seas. Thousands take to the streets reciting “Ganapati Bappa Moraya!” (“Hail Lord Ganesha”) along with singing and dancing, making it an incredible spectacle to witness.

Elaborately decorated trucks and pandals carry large idols that are immersed amid showers of flowers, camphor flames and crowds of devotees. For domestic idols, families do the immersion privately at home in buckets, tanks or ponds.

As the idols travel towards the water, they also carry along with them the misfortunes and troubles of the devotees.

This ritual implies surrendering the ego, negativity and obstacles residing in our minds at the feet of the divine. The immersion represents the transient nature of creation and inspires us to let go of that which impedes our journey towards enlightenment.

When to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi 2023
Image by Freepik

Eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

In recent times, there has been a growing awareness around celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner to reduce pollution of water bodies. Many communities are adopting clay idols that dissolve easily compared to Plaster of Paris.

Natural materials are used for decoration over toxic paints and flowers are preferred over plastics. Immersions are done in small water tanks at home or in artificial ponds created specifically for this purpose by civic authorities. Such initiatives help sustain our ecosystems while preserving the spirit of the festival.


In essence, the Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrates new beginnings by reinforcing faith in the grace of the divine that empowers us to overcome all of life’s hurdles. As we bid farewell to the beloved elephant-headed deity, we are reminded that goodbyes are ephemeral. Though the festivities come to an end, the eternal teachings and Ganpati’s infinite presence remain with us forever.

The festival brings people together beyond barriers of caste, class and creed to experience the spiritual awakening and social unity that comes from joyous community celebrations. May these auspicious days fill everyone’s life with wisdom, prosperity and fortune.

Click here for Ganesh Chaturthi Muhurat in different Indian Cities.


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