The elephant headed lord Ganesh is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Hindu celebrates the festival of “Ganesh Chaturthi” on the birthday of god Ganesh .This festival is also known as “Ganeshutsav” and goes for 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending on family customs than end up on Anant Chaturdashi which is also known as “Ganesh Visarjan” day.
Preparations of Ganesh Chaturthi festival starts prior few months before the actual day of festival. Lovers of lord Ganesh clean their homes to welcome Shri Ganesh at their homes. They decorates temples, homes, grand pandals with fresh flowers and lightings, where the idol of Ganesh Ji is placed and the idols of god Ganesh are also dressed up in colorful clothes , glittering ornaments. There is keen competition between devoters of shri Ganesh to see which pandal has been most artistically decorated and sometimes there is even a prize for the best dressed idol of shri Ganesh.
After that prayers are performed daily twice a day to praise god Ganpati ji for health, wealth, removal of obstacles and to get good fortune in their lives. The idol of god Ganesh is created in several sizes, big or small, in veriety of poses by the skilled artists . On the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, various cultural activities are organized during these days of festivities including fasts, feasts, pujas, distribution of laddoos, modaks which are favorite of the god himself, other of these are karanji, sweets as Prasad that add on the charisma of the festival. Milk, kudumu, vundrallu, panakam drink, vadapappu, chalividi and other traditional foods are offered to the idol of god Ganesh on his birthday in different areas of the country. The loud chants of “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai” and “Ganapati Bappa Morya” comes from every part of country by lovers and devoters of lord Ganesh with belive that he would remove all their sorrows and give them happy wealthy year.
As people believe that Lord Ganesh Ji was born during Shukla Paksha of month of Bhadrapada so it usually comes between months of August and September. This year the joyous festival Ganesh Chaturthi is coming on 9th of September, 2013 on the day of Sunday. The poja of lord Ganesh is preferred during Madhyanhana in Ganesh Chaturthi as it is believed that Lord Ganesh was born during Madhyahana Kaal. Madhyahana Kaal is equivalent to midday according to Hindu division of the day. Moreover, many myths are related to the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi but the most famous myth is that one should not see the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi as sighting the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi creates “Mithya Dosham” or “Mithya Kalank” which means false accusation of stealing something. The sighting of moon is prohibited for two consecutive days.
When all the festivities are over, the idols which have been worshipped over the past ten days are taken out in a grand procession known as “Anant Chaturdashi”. In which the idol of shri Ganesh is hoisted on shoulders of his lovers or rides in open trucks or carriages towards nearby sea, beach or rivers to immerse the idol of god Ganesh in water. This whole street gala procession is accompanied by firework displays, devotional singing, dancing on the tunes of drums with strong faith that lord Ganesh will take their each and every stress with him while going back. This immersion ceremony, which is known as the ‘visarjan’, marks the end of the festivities. During this event people dance with great enthusiasm and singing rents the air, urging the god to return post haste the next year by saying “Ganpati bapa, mouriya! Pudcha varshi, laukar ya!”, which means “Hay Lord Ganesha, please return soon next year”.
At the end I wish you a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 2013! May this festival brings lots of happiness, blessing to you and removes all the sorrows and tensions from your life.