Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav is celebrated around the globe. It is a prominent festival of Maharashtrians and Konkani people. It is also celebrated in other parts on Indian including south India, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Read on to know more about the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival celebrated by the Hindus on the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Though this is celebrated among the Hindus all over the world, in India people from all religion enjoy this festival and celebrate it with pomp and show. The entire community participates with enthusiasm and great involvement.
The preparation for this festival starts months in advance. The idols of different sizes and styles are made, societies start preparing for the festival and cultural activities and competitions are also announced for that day in schools and societies throughout India.
Story Behind Lord Ganesh and his Head of a Baby Elephant
Lord Ganesh is a Hindu God with an elephant head. A typical and interesting story is behind his elephant head. It is believed that once Goddess Parvati was bathing and she created a human like creature with her divine power and assigned him to guard on the door. In the meantime Lord Shiva came there but Ganesh did not allow him to enter. Angry Shiva beheaded the child.
But in no time he came to know that he was Parvati’s son and so he sent one of his followers to bring the head of the first living creature he came across. The follower brought the head of a baby elephant and Shiva put the head on and brought Ganesh back to life with his godly power.
Since then the head of Lord Ganesh is like a baby elephant and with the blessings of Lord Shiva he is worshipped foremost of the other Hindu Gods. This is also because the idol of Ganesh is placed in the entrance of most temples. Even people prefer putting an image or idol in front of their homes so that they and their families remain blessed by Lord Ganesh.
Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi Throughout India
Ganesh Chaturthi is not only celebrated in India but also throughout the globe. Read on to find how Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in different parts of India.
Celebration in Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandals
Each locality makes arrangements for placing an idol and perform Pooja. People of the community contribute for the organisation and management ofa the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. There is a priest in every pandal and Aarti is done twice a day – one in the morning and one in the evening.
Offerings Made to Lord Ganesh
Special food and Prasad is prepared to offer Lord Ganesh. Usually the Prasad is Modak, Laddus, Peras and sweets according to the state and locality. Red flower, preferably hibiscus, sheaves of grass, turmeric powder, vermillion and rice is offered to the deity. People wear fresh and clean clothes and many visit the famous temples and present offerings to the God.
Ganesh Utsav in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, people bring home small idols of Ganesh and worship them for 1, 5, 7 or 10 days depending on their wish. Everyday, Pooja has to be done and Aarti is performed twice. Idol of Lord Ganesh is placed on elevated platforms, no matter whether the celebration is held in homes or decorated tents. This is done so that everyone is able to see and worship God properly.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Karnataka
In Karnataka, people worship Gauri, mother of Lord Ganesh and then to the God. This festival is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in Karnataka.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Gujarat
In Gujarat the celebration continues to 10 days just like Maharashtra and the process is also more or less the same.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Rajasthan
In Rajasthan the idol of Ganesh is bathed in red vermillion and garland of flowers and Laddus are offered.
Although Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated throughout India with great participation and enthusiasm, in some places the importance is given to the first day while in some parts of India the last day is celebrated with more vigor and passion.