Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Ganesha,on the fourth day of bhadrapadamasam(ganeshfestival comes every year on the month of August/September).lord ganesha is considered as god of wisdom and prosperity and is invoked before the beginning of any auspicious work by the Hindus.
Ganesha is elephant-headed god, whose vehicle is the rat or Mooshak and who loves Modaks (round sweets) is associated with several humourous tales and lores. There are numerous stories associated with the birth of Ganesha and all are told during the time of the festival.
According to mythology he is the son of Shiva and Parvati, brother of Kartikeya – the general of the gods, Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and Saraswati-the goddess of learning.
One of the Legend says that Parvati wife of lord Shiva created Ganesha out of the sandalwood dough that she used for her bath and breathed life into him. Before she went to bath she made ganesha to stand guard at the door and told him not to allow any one to enter into the house. When her husband, Shiva returned, the child who had never seen him stopped him. Shiva severed the head of ganesha and entered his house. Parvati, after finishing her bath came outside and saw her son laying dead, she was distraught and asked Shiva to give life to him. Lord Shiva cut off the head of an elephant and fixed it on the body of Ganesha.
Another story about ganesha and karthikeya says that the Gods decided to choose their leader and a race was held between the brothers ganesh and Kartikeya (kumara swamy).According to the race whoever took three rounds of the earth first would be made the Ganaadhipati or the leader. Ganesha (vinayaka) was given rat as a vahanam(vehicle) to move on the race, but Kartikeya seated on a peacock, his vahanam (vehicle), started off for the test.
Ganesha(Vinayak) realized that the test was not so easy, but he could not disobey his father lord Shiva. He reverently paid obeisance to his parents and went around them three times and completed the test before Kumar swami (Kartikeya).According to ganesha, ” as his parents pervade the whole universe and going around them, is more than going round the earth.”
Everybody was pleasantly surprised to hear ganesha intelligence and logic Meanwhile, Kartikeya was amazed to see Ganesh completing the holy bath at each river that he reached at and ready for another round of the universe. So ganesha was made ganaadhipathi.
It is also forbidden to look at the moon on that day as the moon had laughed at Ganesha when he fell from his vehicle, the rat.
Ganesh festival gave the Indians a feeling of unity and revived their patriotic spirit and faith. Images of Ganesha are installed and elaborate arrangements are made for lighting and decoration, and celebrations are on for 7-10 days. The Chaturthi is the last day dedicated to the elephant-headed god, and thousands of processions converge on the beaches and rivers to immerse the holy idols. This immersion is accompanied by drum- beats, devotional songs and dancing. evotees wearing saffron caps accompany ganesh idols and sprinkle gulal, while dancing to the tune of drums. While immersion of the idols devotees chant “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai!” and “Ganpati bappa morya”.