Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with a trust that Lord Ganesha, who is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who impart Ganesh’s blessings on Ganesh’s devotees, on Ganesh chaturthy day. Ganesh Chaturthi event is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the God of good judgment. Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, which generally falls around August or September Month. The occasion becomes very lively and excited with the devotional songs, dances and drum beats being a part of the procession observed by the devotees of God Ganesha, as a part of the celebrations. Ganesh Chaturthi is the only festival that involves and welcomes the involvement of general public.
CELEBRATION OF GANESHA CHATURTHI
Ganesh Chaturthi is a very important festival of India especially of Maharashtra, and is celebrated impressively in other parts of India as well. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesh (Ganesha), the god of wisdom and prosperity The preparation of the celebration of the festival starts one month in advance, with great enthusiasm, to celebrate this auspicious occasion. The festival starts with the installation of beautifully sculpted Ganesha idols in homes and mandaps. These idols are decorated beautifully and show religious themes. People bring home statues of Ganesh lord and celebrate the festival by worshiping the Lord in a special way for a day and a half, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending on the family tradition and commitment of each individual.
The event also sees various cultural events being held every where, in which people participate with interest. After celebration, the time of farewell comes and the idol of the beloved God is immersed in water. The celebration ends with the immersion, accompanied by loud shouts of 'Ganapati Bappa Moraya'.
On the last day of worship the murti is taken out in a colourful and musical procession to be engrossed traditionally at a beach.
SOME POPULER STORIES(LEGENDS) OF LORD GANESHA
Godess Parvati Story
It is said that Godess Parvati has created Lord Ganesha out of the sandalwood dough that she used for her bath and inhaled life into him. She let Lord Ganesha stand and guard at the door where she went to have her bath. When Lord Shiva,husband of Godess Parvati returned, the child who had never seen Lord Shiva and so he stopped him.Being angry with Lord Ganesha Lord Shiva separated the head of the child and entered his house. Parvati, learning that her son was dead, was upset and asked Shiva to recover Lord Ganesha. As Shiva did not get any human head he cut off the head of an elephant and fixed it on the body of Lord Ganesha. And so our Lord Ganesha is having the face of an Elephant.
Kartikeya and Ganesha Story
Another tale tells us the stoty of Kartikeya and Ganesha of how one day the Gods decided to choose their leader and a race was planned to be held between the two brothers- Kartikeya and Ganesh. The one who will take three rounds of the earth first would be made the Ganaadhipati or the leader. Kartikeya the brother of Shree Ganesha seated on a peacock as his vehicle, and started off for the test. And Lord Ganesha was given a rat, which moved speedily. Ganesh realised that the test was not easy, but he would not go against his father. He respectfully paid loyalty to his parents and went around them three times and thus completed the test before Kartikeya. He said, " my parents permeate the whole universe and going around them, is more than going round the earth." Everybody was pleasurably surprised to hear Ganesha's logic and intelligence and hence he came to be known as the Ganaadhipati or leader, now referred to as Ganpati.
Now another story is about the representative snake, rat and the singular tusk. During one of the birthday of Lord Ganesha, his mother, Godess Parvati, cooked for him twenty-one types of delicious food and a lot of sweet oatmeal. She cooked lots of variety for the son Ganesha and so Ganesha ate so much that even his big stomach is also not able to contain it. Rising his little mouse, he boarded on his night rounds. His mouse suddenly fell upon seeing a huge snake. To adjust His tummy, Lord Ganesha put the snake on as a binding or a belt around his stomach. All of a sudden, he heard laughter originating form the sky. He looked up and as soon as he saw up he saw the moon insulting him. God Ganesha irritated, broke off one of his tusks and threw it at the moon. Godess Parvati who was seeing this, straightaway cursed the moon that whoever looks at it on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi will be faulted of a wrong doing. Since than it was assumed that it is not at all good to se the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
WHEN IS ANANT CHATURTHI ?
Ganesh God Visarjan Dates
The largest Ganesh statues, on display to the public, are usually immersed on Ananta Chaturdasi -- 11 days after the first day of the Ganesh festival. However, many people who keep a Ganesh in their homes choose to perform the immersion much before this. However, the immersions do follow a schedule and are only performed on selected days. These are as follows.
One and half day Ganpati Visarjan – 2nd September , 2011.
3rd day Lord Ganpati Visarjan – 3rd September, 2011.
5th day God Ganesha Visarjan – 5th September , 2011.
7th day Ganesha God Visarjan – 7th September , 2011.
10th day Lord Ganesh Visarjan – 10th September , 2011.
Ananta Chaturdashi last day of Shree Ganesh Visarjan – 12th September , 2011.
Immersion of the Andhericha Raja – 13th September , 2011.