When is Ganesh Chaturthi in 2022, 2023, and 2024?

Ganesh Chaturthi

Courtesy of Sharell Cook

When is Ganesh Chaturthi in 2022, 2023, and 2024?

The date of Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon period (Shukla Chaturthi) in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapad — either August or September each year. According to the Hindu lunar calendar, the festival is celebrated for 10 or 11 days, with the biggest spectacle taking place on the last day, a festival named Anant Chaturdashi.

  • In 2022, Ganesh Chaturthi is on Aug. 31. Anant Chaturdashi is on Sept. 9.
  • In 2023, Ganesh Chaturthi is on Sept. 19. Anant Chaturdashi is on Sept. 28.
  • In 2024, Ganesh Chaturthi is on Sept. 7, Anant Chaturdashi is on Sept. 16.
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What is Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganesh Chaturthi commemorates the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Hindus believe it to be the most powerful day to worship the beloved elephant-headed god who is revered for his ability to remove obstacles. On this day, beautiful handcrafted idols of the Lord are installed both in homes and in public. Prana Pratishtha is performed to invoke the power of the deity into the idol, followed by a 16-step ritual known as "Shodashopachara Puja." During the ritual, various offerings including sweets, coconuts, and flowers are made to the idol. The ritual should be performed at an auspicious time around midday (Madhyahna) when Lord Ganesh is believed to have been born. As per Vedic astrology, it extends from about 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. depending on the location in India.

It's important, according to tradition, not to look at the moon during certain times on Ganesh Chaturthi. If a person sees the moon, according to Hindu mythology, they'll be cursed with accusations of theft and dishonored by society unless they chant a certain mantra. Apparently, this came about after Lord Krisha was falsely accused of stealing a valuable jewel. Sage Narada said that Krishna must've seen the moon on Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi (the occasion that Ganesh Chaturthi falls on) and was cursed because of it. Furthermore, anyone who saw the moon from then on would be cursed in a similar way.

The idols of Lord Ganesh are worshiped every day, with an "aarti", a ritual of worship, in the evening. The largest Ganesh statues, on display to the public, are taken out and immersed in water on Anant Chaturdashi in grand street processions featuring a cacophony of traditional drumming and crackers. Many people who keep an idol in their homes carry out the immersion much before this though. However, such immersions only take place on certain days -- one and a half, three, five, and seven days after Ganesh Chaturthi.

The festival takes place on a grand scale in Mumbai, where many worshippers decide to visit some of the city's most popular Ganesh idols.

Ganesh chaturthi illustration

 TripSavvy / Tim Liedtke

What is Anant Chaturdashi?

You may be wondering why the immersion of Ganeshi idols concludes on this day. Why is it special? In Sanskrit, Anant refers to eternal or infinite energy, or immortality. The day is actually devoted to the worship of Lord Anant, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu (the preserver and sustainer of life, also referred to as the supreme being). Chaturdashi means the "fourteenth". In this case, the occasion falls on the 14th day of the bright half of the moon during the month of Bhadrapad on the Hindu calendar.