Ganesh Chaturthi by Hindus:
Ganesh Chaturthi is an important festival to the Hindus. Lord Ganesha’s birthday celebrates as Ganesha Chaturthi by Hindus throughout the world. He considered as the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. This festival also known as Vinayak Chaturthi or Vinayak Chavithi. The festival falls in the month of Bhadra usually between mid-August and mid-September.
Significance of Ganesha Chaturthi:
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates in India with grand scale. It is the festival of great joy and deep devotion. The Hindus perform this Ganesh Chaturthi festival understanding the nature, the use of plants and to get good wisdom. Especially in Maharashtra, the people celebrates this festival with extreme vigor and enthusiasm. Here the celebrations last for ten days. Especially Shivaji maharaj started the celebrations with high pomp to bring the unity among the people as a non-community affair.
Story Behind Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration:
There is a story behind the birth of Lord Ganesh. According to Hindu Mythological stories Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He has the head of an elephant, four podgy hands and a sizeable belly. His each hand holds a Trishul, an Ankush, a lotus and a rosary.
One day when Lord Shiva was not at home, Parvathi created a human figure and gave him life and asked him to guard the door and went to bath. As soon as Parvathi went to bath, Lord Shiva came back to his adobe after a long meditation on Mountain Kailash. He was very eager to see his wife Parvathi. while he was going into the house, at the threshold he was stopped by the guarding man. Lord Shiva looks at the stranger at his home and got outraged and cut off his head.
As soon as the incident Lord Shiva find the mistake what he did. Parvathi lamented about this incident and prayed Lord Shiva bring back life to the boy. Immediately Lord Shiva ordered his ‘ganas’ to get him the head of the first living creature they could find. Here the first creature was an elephant. The Ganas chopped off the elephant’s head and brought back to Shiva and placed it on Parvati’s son’s body. Then bring back him to life and named Ganesh or Ganapati. which literally means the chief of the Ganas(the attendants of Shiva). Ganesh is the foremost god of the Hindu Pantheon. He worships during every occasion of Hindus. We can see him at the entrances to temples and homes as a guard. In marriage occasions, calendars and every beginning of any new work Hindus first worship Lord Ganesh to overcome the obstacles.
First Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations:
It is now known when did Ganesh Chaturthi first celebrated? But according to the historians, the earliest celebrations were held in Satavahana, Rashtrakuta and Chalukya. But according to the historical tracks, the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were started by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra dynasty during his period as emperor. Shivaji promoted Tradition and Culture of Hinduism and celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi festival to bring harmony among the people of his kingdom. Later famous freedom fighter, an Indian nationalist, and social reformer Balagangadhara Tilak also started celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi to unite the people to free India from British.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations at the House:
On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the devotees wake up early in the morning and do head bath and wear the new clothes. The house is cleared cleanly and decorates the house with beautiful flowers and hangs the Mango leaves to the front door. Bring the simple clay models of Lord Ganesha from the market or some orthodox families prepare the statues at home with clay. Keep the idol in the house and all family members sit before the idol of Ganesh and perform the puja with flowers, durva grass and other medicinal plants along with chanting of mantras. Lord Ganesh is fond of eating Modaks, so the devotees prepare them with rice flour dumpling stuffed with jaggery. Laddu, Payasam also prepared to offer Lord Ganesha. Such way devotees celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.