Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is most awaited puja in the state Maharashtra. This is the puja which gets celebrated with huge enthusiasm and active participation by all the people of Maharashtra. The puja preparation start before two – three months from the puja date. Like this year (2016) Ganesh Chaturthi falls on 5th of September, so its preparation is already in process. The height of Ganesha statue ranges from 3/4th of an inch to the peak of 25 feet. These beautiful and huge statues are made by special artists. The Ganesh statues are kept in huge and artistically decorated temporary Mandapas or Pandals of each locality. The whole celebration is of ten days. On the eleventh day the deity of lord Ganesha get immersed into any huge water body along with the huge procession.
Birth of Lord Ganesha
The story behind the birth of Lord Ganesha is very interesting. The godess Parwati who is the mother of lord Ganesha created him out of clay and breathed life into the clay. After creating Ganesha she went out for taking bath and instructed him that he would not allow any one to come inside. The child Ganesha followed his mother’s instructions and when lord Shiva came to enter the place he disallowed him. The lord Shiva got angry and cut down his head. When goddess Parvati saw her son dead, got distraught and asked Shiva to return her son back. Shiva put down the head of an elephant on Ganesha body and this is the way how elephant headed lord Ganesha came in to the picture. He is also known as Vighneshwara or Vignaraja. He is invoked for removing obstacles and making wellness. All Hindus worship him before they start any new business or work.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration
Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated on the occasion of birth anniversary of lord Ganesha. It is mostly celebrated in the southern part of India. Specially in Maharashtra it is celebrated by everyone with huge craze and zeal. The worship of Ganesha is done at this time in families by the family members and also at large scale by the communities in different localities. At household level, this puja is celebrated by bringing small idols of Ganesha, cleaning homes and along with beautiful decorations of whole house. The family members chants the shloka or religious verses.
At localities this puja is celebrated on larger scale. The priest is called to chant mantras and performing rituals. The idol of lord Ganesha is worshiped for 10 days. Along with worship of Ganesha, side by side different cultural programs are run beside the pandals. This is the time when straggler artists get platform to show their talents.
On the eleventh day the deity of Ganesha is get immersed along with enthusiastic and huge procession between the sound of drums and other musical instruments. People dances while going into the procession along with chanting the words “Ganapati Bappa Morya” that is a call to lord Ganesha to come again in the next year.