Lord Ganesh won the boon from Lord Shiva that He would be the first to be worshipped in any puja. Regardless of the occasion or scripture, we begin all our worship by invoking Lord Ganesh. He removes obstacles on the path of a spiritual seeker and bestows wisdom.
The special days in the lunar cycle to worship Ganesh fall on chaturthi, or the 4th day of the dark and bright fortnight of the moon. On chaturthi in the shukla paksha (bright fortnight) of every month, Shree Maa dresses Lord Ganesh with new clothes and decorates Him with ornaments. His head dress is a turban or a crown with ornaments or peacock feathers, and He wears a beautiful garland made of yellow and red flowers. Ganesh Puja is conducted following the Ganesh Puja book and additionally in the shukla paksha a pot is also established, using the mantras and mudras described in the book.
The fourth day in the bright fortnight on the month of Bhadrapad (around August/September) is a very special day for Lord Ganesh and is celebrated with great fanfare.
On all chaturthis, we offer to Lord Ganesh His favorite sweet, called “modak” that can be made in several ways using coconut and other ingredients.