Two to three months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, a huge life-like model of Lord Ganesha is made, the size of which might vary from three-fourth of an inch to over 25 feet.
The idol is placed on elevated platforms in homes or intricately decorated outdoor pandals or tents on the day of the festival, for people to view and pay their homage. The ritual of pranapratishhtha is carried out by a priest who is usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl. He also invokes life into the idol of Lord Ganesha amidst the chanting of mantras. The shhodashopachara or sixteen ways of paying homage follows just after this where coconut (nariyal), jaggery (gur), twenty one modaks, twenty one durva blades and red flowers are offered to the Lord. The number 21 signifies the five organs of perception, five organs of action, five vital airs (pranas), five elements and the mind. Lord Ganesha’s idol is also smeared with red sandal paste or the rakta chandan. All throughout the ceremony, chantings of Vedic hymns from Rig Veda and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad and Ganesha Stotra from the Narada Purana are done.
After ten days, that is on the eleventh day, the Ganesha idol is taken through the streets in magnificent processions alongwith singing, chanting and sancing to be immersed in a river or sea that symbolizes the ritual of see-off of the God in his journey towards his abode in Mount Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. A final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made and the idol is finally immersed in the waters.
Enjoy the majestic celebrations with delectable