What is Ganesh Chaturthi? Ganesh Chaturthi (also Vinayaka Chaturthi), a very important annual Hindu festival, is observed in honor of the birthday, actually rebirth, of the Lord Ganesha, i.e., Lord of Wisdom.
The festival has its origins in the ancient writings of the Rigveda, and it may well have started to be celebrated in the south of India. However, it is only in around the nineteenth century that this festival became truly popular.
Ganesh Chaturthi is observed for 10 days in Bhadra month that starts on the Shukla Chaturthi, and ends on the Anant Chaturdashi. The Ganesh Chaturthi festival usually takes place towards the end of August every year.
Who is Lord Ganesha? Also known as the Remover of Obstacles and Ganesha, Lord Ganesh is one of the principal deities of the Hindu pantheon. Instantly recognizable thanks to his elephant head, Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Ganesha is also known as Hinduism’s most popular deity. He is often depicted accompanied by a mouse. This is because he is believed to be able to enter in to all of the nooks and crannies of the world to find out information and perform his good works. He is thought to disguise himself as a mouse in order to do this.
Why is it celebrated? People celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi festival to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. In his principal capacity as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord Ganesha will remove both physical and spiritual obstacles from the paths of his worshipers. Hence, he is also known as “Vighna Harta”. He is also known as a god of success and of education, which of course is linked to his role as a remover of obstacles because in order to reach success and learn, we need to surmount the obstacles that are in our way. (Also read: Why do we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?)
Who celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Where is it celebrated? The Hindus staying in India or in any other country mainly observe Ganesh Chaturthi.
In India, it is celebrated in Karnataka and Maharashtra and some parts of Western and Southern India.
It is also widely celebrated in Nepal and by the Hindus staying in United States, Singapore, Canada, and Thailand, etc. Ganesh Chaturthi is the time, which helps family and friends to have a get-together from their busy schedule.
How devotees celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Ganesh Chaturthi is largely observed in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and some parts of Madhya Pradesh. It is the most spectacular festival of Maharashtra.
This festival is starts with the installation of clay images of the Lord Ganesha, in pandals or at homes. The worship of Lord Ganesha continues for several days. Thousands of devotees gather at various places to take part in the festive event. The festival takes the form of prayers and mantras led by priests, as well as celebratory food and a party atmosphere. Varieties of herbal plants and leaves are offered to Lord Ganesha.
Devotees take part in huge colourful processions with sounds of cymbals and drums. This is a great day of rejoicing for all. Dances and music add to the picturesqueness. The devotees chant together some words that means – “O Father Ganesha, Come Again Early in the Next Year”.
Also read: Ganesh Chaturthi in Wikipedia