Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chavithi, is an auspicious Hindu festival which is celebrated for 10 days every year. The festival is celebrated in the Bhadra month as per the Hindu calendar which generally falls in mid-August to September. It marks the birthday of the beloved elephant-headed Lord Ganesha.
Ganesha is known as the God of wealth, sciences, knowledge, wisdom and prosperity, and that’s why most Hindus remember him and seek his blessings before starting any important work. Lord Ganesh is known by 108 different names like Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighnaharta among others. This festival is celebrated with great devotion and joy by Hindus throughout the world. In India, it is majorly celebrated in states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the major festivals celebrated in India and abroad by Hindus with great enthusiasm and devotion. The festival marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha; the Lord of knowledge, wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi finds its origin in the Maratha reign, with Chatrapati Shivaji starting the festival. The belief lays in the story of the birth of Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Although there are various stories attached to his birth, the one most relevant is shared here. Goddess Parvati was the creator of Ganpati. She, in the absence of Lord Shiva, used her sandalwood paste to create Ganesha and put him to guard while she had gone for bathing. While she was gone, Lord Shiva got into a fight with Ganesha as he did not allow him to enter, as per his mother`s orders. Enraged, Lord Shiva cut off Ganesha`s head. When Parvati saw this sight, she took the form of Goddess Kali and threatened to destroy the world. This worried everyone and they requested Lord Shiva to find a solution and calm the rage of Goddess Kali. Shiva then ordered all his followers to immediately go and find a child whose mother has her back towards her child in negligence and bring his head. The first child seen by the followers was that of an elephant and they, as ordered, cut his head and brought to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva immediately placed the head on Ganesha`s body and brought it to life again. The rage of Maa Kali was calmed and Goddess Parvati was overwhelmed, once again. All the Lords blessed Ganesha and the day is today celebrated for the same reason.