Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated as the birthday (rebirth) of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
As per Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is considered as “Vighana Harta” (one who removes obstacles) and ‘Buddhi Pradaayaka” (one who grants intelligence). This festival is very important for students, they worship Lord Ganesha to light u their minds. Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as “Vinayaka Chaturthi” (festival of Lord Ganesha) is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi (4rth day of the waxing moon period) of the Hindu month of Bhaadrapada (usually falls between 19 August and 20 September).
People bring idols of lord Ganesha to their homes and worship with great enthusiasm. This festival lasts for 10 days ending on Anant Chaturdashi (14th day of the waxing moon period). On the last day of the festival the idols are taken out in a colorful and musical procession and dipped traditionally in water.
History of Lord Ganesha’s Elephant Head:
The Hindu mythology says Lord Ganesh was created out of sandalwood paste and breathed life into the figure by goddess Parvathi. She set him to guard at her door while she bathed. Lord Shiva returned home and, as Ganesha didn’t know him, he didn’t allow him to enter. Lord Shiva became angry and ordered his ghost-followers to teach Ganesha some manners. Lord Ganesha was very powerful, being born of Goddess Parvathi, the avatar of shakti (Power). He defeated all the followers and said nobody was allowed to enter. The angry Lord Indra, king of gods also didn’t stand a chance infront of Lord Ganesha’s power. This issue became the matter of pride to lord Shiva. Enraged lord Shiva(the trinity- controller, preserver and destroyer of the universe) set up an attack and took off Ganesha’s head and entered the house.
Goddess Parvathi seeing her son dead, with grief revealed her true self as aadi shakti, the prime energy that fuels the universe and sustains matter. Taking on a terrible form, she vowed to destroy the entire universe where her son was killed and re-create a better one. All the gods bowed down before her to show some mercy, to control goddess Parvathi’s rage lord Shiva promised that her son will live again. Goddess Parvathi asked lord Shiva to go down the Himalayas ( their domicile), cut off the head of the first animal he sees and splice it onto the headless body of Ganesha. He came across a mother elephant crying for her dead bay. He consoled the mother elephant and fixed the head of the bay elephant to Ganesha’s body. Lord Shiva also declared that from this day, the boy would be called as “Ganesha” ( Gana- Isha: lord of the ganas elephants). In this way, Lord Ganesha came to be depicted s the elephant-headed God.
Lord Ganesha’s curse to Moon God:
One night Lord Ganesha went out for a ride on his mouse. The tiny mouse stumbled as it couldn’t bear the weight of lord Ganesha.
The moon god laughed at Ganesha with disrespect. Lord Ganesha got angry and cursed the moon lord by saying ” you shall pay for your foolish pride. Let your beauty, which is the cause for your self-conceited will vanish. From now on, whoever sees you on the night of Ganesh Chaturthi will face false accusations.” The moon god bowed to Ganesha and begged to forgive him for his ignorance. Then lord Ganesha grew calm and consoled the moon god. Though my curse cannot be undone, whosoever face false accusations will be saved and regain their good name if they see you on the second day of bright fortnight.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations in India:
People put up idols of Lord Ganesha on every street with a pooling contribution from every one living on the street. Rituals are conducted on the first day before the idol is revealed. Everyday families in the street offer prayers to idol and arranges food for everyone with their own cost, in return they believe god will be bless them with good deeds. Devotional songs were played all the time and people engage in rituals, praying for the goodness of their families and all mankind. There will be a competition among all the streets for every city and for every states for the tallest idol. on the 10th day, the idols were taken out with a huge crowds among the streets everyone chanting, over and over again,”Ganapati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya..” calling lord Ganapati to come again soon next year and dipped traditionally in water.
The next day, the items kept near the idol such as pen,fruit, sweet (Laddu) and cloth kept on the idol are auctioned. People pay high price to win these items in auctions because people believe those items which kept near the idol will bring good to their family if it is in their home.
On this occasion, send video greetings to your family and friends wishing them Ganesh Chaturthi wishes and blessing them with good health, happiness and riches through out the year. You can also invite them to take part in these rituals with you by sending video invitations to them.