Ganesh Chaturthi is upon us and preparations for the popular festival are in full swing. The 10-day Ganeshotsav is celebrated with much fervour in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Ganeshotsav is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. According to Hindu mythology, the elephant-headed God leaves Mount Kailash to be with his followers for these ten days starting with Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi.
Most households install idols of Lord Ganesha and worship Him with flowers and His favourite sweet, modak. After 10 days, the idols are immersed in different water bodies on Anant Chaturdashi.
According to the Hindu calendar, Ganesh Chaturthi is observed on the fourth day from the new moon, and it usually falls in the month of August or September.
Ganeshotsav 2018 Dates
Ganesh Chaturthi: 13 September
Ganesh Visarjan: 23 September
Called the God of new beginnings and remover of obstacles, Lord Ganesha is worshipped across India.
According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati created Ganesha from dirt and appointed him to prevent anyone from entering her chamber while she was taking a bath. Unaware of Ganesha, Lord Shiva got angry upon seeing an unknown boy standing outside trying to prevent him from entering. He then severed Ganesha’s head.
After seeing the headless Ganesha, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva to join his head back, since that was not possible, a head of an elephant was used instead. This gave birth to the beloved Lord Ganesha.
Another legend says Lord Ganesha was created by Parvati and Shiva upon the request of other gods, so that he could create obstacles for the demons.
On this auspicious day, processions are held to enjoy the festival. In Mumbai, where Ganeshotsav is the biggest festival, people take to the streets and dance along to religious songs.
People cherish the festive spirit with lights, lasers, fireworks and drumbeats.