Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganpati, Vinayaka and numerous other names was the restored son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The elephant-headed god is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. The beginning of all rituals and ceremonies start with his prayers. That’s because he’s considered the bringer of good luck. Ganesha is one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu culture. No wonder his birth is celebrated over 10 days with massive and vibrant celebrations! So read on to know more about the birth and the celebration of the birth of the Gajanana!
The Story Behind Ganesha’s Birth
If you’re born in a Hindu household, odds are you’d know the legend behind Lord Ganesha’s birth. Goddess Parvati created Lord Ganesha from the turmeric paste on her body and breathed life into it. But while he was guarding the door as Parvati took bath inside, he forbid Lord Shiva to enter the house. In a fit of rage, Lord Shiva severed Ganesha’s head, killing him instantly.
On learning this, Parvati got so enraged that she decided to destroy the entire creation unless her son is brought back to life. Finally, Brahma sourced the head of an elephant which was attached back to Ganesha’s body. And eventually, Lord Ganesha was given the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas i.e. classes of beings, Ganapati.
The legend makes for an interesting story, and that’s how the birth of Ganesh, what we now know as Ganesh Chaturthi came into being. The festival begins with the installation of huge elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha in homes and podiums. On Ananta Chaturdasi (the last day), the statues are paraded through the street and then immersed in the ocean or other bodies of water. This year the festival will start on the 2nd of September and will extend over 11 days till the 12th of September.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one the most pompous festivals celebrated majorly in Maharashtra. Lord Ganesh is regarded as the patron saint of Maharashtra and over 6000 idols are commissioned in Mumbai every year. Though Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Pune, Karnataka and other parts of the country. But Mumbai is the most famous for its massive processions.
Even the households in Mumbai celebrate the festival. They install an idol of Lord Ganesha and worship it for over ten days. The houses are cleaned and the idol is brought in with the family members chanting ‘Shloka’ or religious verses. The seven to ten days long festival ends with the ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ where the idols are immersed in the water. This is done as a procession with millions of people accompanying the idol along with a lot of dance and music!
Green Ganesh Chaturthi
Despite all the reverie Ganesha Chaturthi brings, environmentalists pointed out year after year how its after-effects were causing menace for the marine life. However, recently several organisations, online stores and other stores have come up with eco-friendly solutions to address these growing concerns. Ganesh Chaturthi ends with the immersion of Ganesha idols made from Plaster of Paris (PoP) into the sea, which are non-biodegradable and thus, harmful for the aquatic life and water bodies. Thus it is extremely important to opt for a more eco-conscious way to celebrate this festival. You can click here to check out our list of brands selling eco-friendly Ganeshas.
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