What is Ganesh Chaturthi
It is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Ganesh to earth from Kailash Parvat with his mother Goddess Parvati/Gauri. In another word, it is an annual celebration to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha, the God of new beginnings and a fresh start.
Ganesha is known as the God of wealth, sciences, knowledge, wisdom and prosperity, and that's why most Hindus remember him and seek his blessings before starting any important work. Lord Ganesh is known by many different names, for example, Gajanana and Vinayaka.
When is Ganesh Chaturthi
The festival falls in the month of Bhadra, which is generally between August to September. The exact date of the festival varies according to the Hindu calendar. This year, the celebrations will begin on September 10.
History of Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important Hindu festivals and it's dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Ganesha is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. There are various stories behind his birth but below is one of the most common one.
Lord Ganesha was created by Parvati out of dirt from her body to guard her in the absence of Shiva. She gave him the task of guarding her bathroom door while she took a bath. In the meantime, Shiva returned home and Ganesha, who didn't know who Shiva was, stopped him. This angered Shiva and he severed Ganesha's head after a tiff between the two. Parvati was enraged when she came to know about this; Lord Shiva, in turn, promised to get Ganesha back to life. The devas were sent to search for a child's head facing north but they could only find an elephant's head. Shiva fixed the elephant's head on the child's body, and that is how Ganesha was born.
How to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi
While some devotees celebrate this festival at home, others pay their visit to Lord Ganesha at public pandals. People offer their due respect, prayers and offerings to Ganesha. Dishes like Lord Ganesha's favourite Modak, Pooran Poli, and Karanji are prepared for friends, family and visitors.
Over the years with growing environmental awareness, people have started celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in an environmentally friendly way. This includes-- getting Ganesha idols made of natural clay and using only flowers and natural items for decorating the pandals (shelters).
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