I just wanted to know the belief behind celebrating ganesh chaturthi.

Me and my family have decided to bring ganesha idol home this year. But as my grandfather passed away this year , some people are saying that you can not celebrate ganesh chaturthi for one year. It is not allowed in hinduism. Is it true?

  • People generally celebrate it in a simple way in such condition. Aug 23, 2014 at 13:09
  • @ShreemayPanhalkar actually we are going to start it from this year . Is it acceptable or we should wait for next year ?
    – punter
    Aug 23, 2014 at 13:27
  • 1
    Yeah. So it would be advisable to start from next year in my opinion. You can celebrate way better next year. Aug 23, 2014 at 13:28
  • It is generally applied upto 2.5 months of the demise in the family, but yes if it is first time of sthapana(celebration) better make it next year, it is all related to you and your feelings for the departed soul if you are still in sorrow just avoid the new start as it will be sorrowful start,if not so you can just start it assuming your grandfathers blessings with you in the start.
    – Yogi
    Aug 23, 2014 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


Firstly : Ganesh Chaturthi, is celebrated as a birthday (actually rebirth) of Lord Ganesha, as it is celebrated on fourth day of the bright half of Bhadrapad, it has a term Chaturthi in it.

The rebirth, as I mentioned, corresponds to the incident where while Ganesha in a human head form tried to block passageway of Lord Shiva, resulting in rage of Shiva and loosing his head. Thereafter, when Lord Shiva was consolidated by Devi Parvati, Shiva gave him a new birth attaching an elephant infant's head.

More details

There is not ancient norm related to this celebration, according to latest date, this started from Shivaji's Time 1630-80, after that followed by Peshawars, from 1740-1820, thereafter it started loosing its glory when it was again renewed by Lokmanya Tilak in 1893, in contribution to unity of different castes and generate patriotic zeal among people against the British.

Secondly : Your second part has nothing to do with Ganesh Chaturthi. It is normal priviledge in Hindu households, to not celebrate till 1st year of relative's death, you cannot even worship (pooja, but you can inchant mantras) till the third day of relative's death. This has a more wider reference, which I don't think liable here, you can ask this question differently.

  • 3
    -1 for ganesha's birthday,Lord has birthday on magh sukla paksha chathurti(known as ganesh jayanti) see your panchagam it was on 3rd feb this year also see this page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesh_Jayanti
    – Yogi
    Aug 24, 2014 at 2:50

Usually, Hindus do not celebrate any festival after the death of close relatives for one year. It is related to the athma leaving the body. Usually, different poojas are performed after the death of a person. And these poojas are performed after a particular number of days. Usually the major numbers are 3,16 and 41 days. These numbers depend on the different pranas leaving the body. Even after the cremation of a body there will be some pranas/jeevas which should be liberated by such poojas on a particular day. AFIK, only after the poojas done after the one year, the soul is completely liberated. You may need to ask an expert about the different pranas/jeevas and the days taken by them to leave the earth after the death.

In the southern part of India, a ritual called 'Bali tharpana' is performed and it is related to this. You can get a brief idea http://www.hindu-blog.com/2007/07/karkidaka-vavu-bali-in-2007.html

See the related question which is already asked about the importance of specific days after the death. What is the significance of 3, 16, or 41 days after the death?


Celebrating a festival when a relative passes away depends on how the relative was related to you. If your grandfather who passed away is your paternal grandfather(father's father) then it is not advisable to celebrate any festival for one year as there are other ceremonies to be performed which take precedence over celebrating festivals.

If your maternal grandfather passed away, then you have no restrictions on celebrating any festival after the one or one and half months after the demise (as @Creator said). It all ultimately comes down to how well you have dealt with loss and sorrow to celebrate now.

I should probably make my answer more clear.

There are numerous and varied ceremonies performed when a person dies and all of it depend on the different castes and sub-castes we belong to (and I am making no reference to any particular caste here). Firstly, (as I mentioned in my comment below) people do not celebrate because they need to have a feast every month and it isn't nice to have it coincide with a festival, which is supposed to be a happy occasion. Next, at least in the olden times, with people not being very well off, they would have to spend a lot on the funeral that it would leave them almost penniless to have money to celebrate festivals. It is believed that the atma should be fed once every month for a year, after which it needs to be fed once every year;meaning it depends on us for a year. Hence the 'one year' mark.
Considering that people need to follow all this (whether they wish to follow is left to them) it is advised not to celebrate for a year.

  • 1
    You are not really explaining of "Why he shouldn't celebrate the festival"
    – Mr. Alien
    Aug 25, 2014 at 7:37
  • As I said, if his paternal grandfather passed away, he shouldn't celebrate. Coming to the 'Why' part, I have no written proof, but from what I have heard (from elders and priests), people do not celebrate festivals for one year as they need to have a feast every month on the day the deceased passed and it isn't a good idea to have a festival and that day coincide. Nothing can be said specifically without knowledge of what rituals and beliefs his family practices.
    – Suhasini
    Aug 25, 2014 at 9:53
  • Even OP knows that we cannot celebrate hence he is asking for a reason of "Why not celebrate".. I would request you to delete your answer unless you don't add the WHY thing in your answer.
    – Mr. Alien
    Aug 25, 2014 at 9:56

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