Ganesh Chaturthi by Hindus:
Ganesh Chaturthi is an important festival for Hindus. Lord Ganesha’s birthday celebrates as Ganesha Chaturthi by Hindus throughout the world. He is considered the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. This festival is 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 on a grand scale. It is a festival of great joy and deep devotion. The Hindus perform this Ganesh Chaturthi festival to understand nature and the use of plants and get sound wisdom. Especially in Maharashtra, the people celebrate this festival with extreme vigour and enthusiasm. Here the celebrations last for ten days. Especially Shivaji Maharaj started the festivities with high pomp to unite 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. 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, gave him life, and asked him to guard the door and go to bathe. As soon as Parvathi washed, Lord Shiva returned to his adobe after an extended meditation on Mountain Kailash. He was very eager to see his wife, Parvathi. While he was going into the house, at the threshold, the guarding man stopped him. Lord Shiva looks at the stranger at his home, gets outraged, and cuts off his head.
As soon as the incident, Lord Shiva found his mistake. Parvathi lamented this incident and prayed to Lord Shiva to 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 get around him to life and name him Ganesh or Ganapati, 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 as a guard at the entrances to temples and homes. OHindus first worship Lord Ganesh to overcome the obstacles in marriage occasions, calendars and every beginning of any new work.
First Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations:
It is now known when did Ganesh Chaturthi first celebrated. But according to 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 the Maharashtra dynasty during his period as emperor. Shivaji promoted the Tradition and Culture of Hinduism and celebrated the 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 the British.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations at the House:
On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the devotees wake up early, do a head bath, and wear new clothes. The house is cleared and cleanly decorated with beautiful flowers, and hanging Mango leaves are at 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 icon of Ganesh and perform the puja with flowers, durva grass and other medicinal plants, along with chanting mantras. Lord Ganesh is fond of eating Modaks, so the devotees prepare them with rice flour dumpling stuffed with jaggery. Laddu, Payasam was also designed to offer Lord Ganesha. In such a way, devotees celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.