Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaviti is the Hindu festival celebrated to honor Lord Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. It is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in India; the people begin a lot of new activities on this day and pray for its success. The festival mostly falls in the month of August or September. The Indian states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana celebrate the Chaturthi in a very grand manner.
The origin of this festival dates back to the period of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. The Peshwas, who were administrators of the Maratha Empire, encouraged the public celebration during this festival since Ganesha was their family God. It slowly lost recognition with the fall of Peshwas but regained its fame celebrations in the early 19 th century with grand celebrations ever since.
The main attraction of Ganesh Chaturthi is that it is celebrated by all communities of people, thus bridging the socio economic differences in the society.
Public celebrations – Idols of Lord Ganesh, mostly made in the state of Andhra Pradesh, are venerated in temporary shrine like structures called ‘pandals’. These pandals are decorated well with elaborate lighting and music to honor the Lord. There is ample music and dance during these public celebrations in the pandals during the days where the Ganesha idol is worshiped. The celebrations culminate with the immersion of the idol.
Home Celebrations – In home celebrations, the people primarily buy clay idols of Lord Ganesha. The idol is decorated with flowers and some people even have a space in the house that is set like a miniature of a shrine in the Lord’s honor. The pooja or worship is done with this clay idol venerated at home.
Food – The main attraction of the festival is the preparation of the food delicacies that are believed to be Lord Ganesha’s favorite. Rice dumplings, called the modaks, are made with rice flour and filled with grated coconut and jaggery. Other food items for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival include the laddu and lentils.
After a predetermined number of days that the idols are worshipped in the public, the Ganesha idols are taken in a procession before they are immersed. They are immersed in large bodies of water like the sea, and the rivers. The clay idols at home are generally immersed in wells in the home premises or sometimes taken along with the larger idols from the pandals for immersion.
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Article Title: An Essay on Ganesh Chaturthi for Kids, Youth, Children and Students
Article last re-published on January 10, 2017. Original.