Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the son of God Shiva and Parbati. The festival is also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' or 'Vinayaka Chavithi' and is celebrated by Hindus around the world. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September). In most parts of the country this festival is celebrated for a maximum of 3-5 days, but in the western India state of Maharashtra, it lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of 'Ananta Chaturdashi'. Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important and popular of all festivals in Maharashtra and is celebrated with grandiosity like no other festival. It said that Lord Ganesh confers his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival and also it is the day Lord Shiva declared that his son Ganesh is superior to all Gods except Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parbati.
Ganesh is worshipped by all Hindus as a God of wisdom, wealth and good fortune. This is the reason he is invoked before starting any puja. It is customary among the Hindus to offer prayers to Ganesh before beginning any puja in order to invite good omen. Ganesh Chaturthi is observed both indoors and outdoors. Families install small Ganesh statues on a decorated platform. Clubhouses collect money and built huge decorative tents called 'pandals' in almost every street or lane and place large idols of Lord Ganesh inside. People pay visit to these pandals in the same manner they would visit a temple. The puja continues to for the next week or more depending on the local tradition. On the last day as per the common ritual, the idols are ceremoniously taken for 'visharjan' i.e. immersion in a river or sea. Thus, bidding goodbye to the Lord of wisdom.
Ganesh Chaturthi Legends
Hindu mythology and religion states that Lord Ganesha is the symbol of wisdom and good luck. He needs to be revered and invoked before starting any good work. On the propitious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, most Hindus bring home the idols of Ganesha and worship him to bestow them with prosperity, good health and wisdom.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai
Every year the city of Mumbai hosts one of the biggest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Here of all the festivals, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with the maximum amount of zeal and enthusiasm. Lord Ganesh is considered as the patron saint of Maharashtra and every year over 6000 idols are installed in Mumbai.
Ganesh Chaturthi Rituals
Ganesh Chaturthi is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, who is believed to remove all the obstacles from one's life and bring prosperity. Also, famous as 'Vinayaka Chavithi', this festival is observed with much enthusiasm by all the Hindus across the world. Ganesh Chaturthi is observed on the month of Bhaadrapada (sometime between 19 August and 20 September) according to the Hindi calendar.
The birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. Here is an account of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in India.