Ganesh Chaturthi – Celebrate September 1, 2011



Hindus Around the World Festively Celebrate

Ganesh Chaturthi


Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated around the world.

September 1, 2011

Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated around the world.In 2011, Ganesh Chaturthi is on September 1. It is celebrated for the following 11 days (ending on September 12), with the biggest spectacle taking place on the last day called Ananta Chaturdasi day.

Sometimes known as Vinayak Chaturthi, Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival celebrated by Hindus around the world. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi commemorates the day on which Lord Ganesha, the younger son of Shiva and Parvati, was born. On the Hindu calendar, the festival falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon of the month of Bhaadrapada.

History of Ganesh Chaturthi

Hindu legends say that Lord Ganesh was formed from the sandalwood paste that Lord Shiva’s wife, Parvati, used during her bath.

With Shiva away and no one to guard the home, Parvati breathed life into the paste and ordered the resulting figure to allow none admittance to the bath chamber.

Lord Shiva returned to find the strange guard, Ganesh, and ordered the guard to give clearance. When the guard refused, Lord Shiva swiftly cut off its head. Parvati was enraged at Shiva’s act and threatened the existence of all. Lord Shiva attempted to placate his wife by sending his ganas to find a neglected child and take its head, bringing it back to Shiva. The ganas found a baby elephant first and returned with its head. Shiva attached the head to Ganesh’s body and breathed new life into the form, declaring him first and favored among the forms of God.

As Ganesh has wide appeal among most Hindus, Indian social reformer Lokmanya Tilak popularized the existing Ganesh Chaturthi festival in 1893 in hopes of unifying the Brahmins with the non-Brahmins. Tilak is also responsible for spreading the practice of immersion of figures of Ganesh on the tenth day of the festival. Additionally, as social gathering was somewhat discouraged by the occupying British, Tilak used the festival to increase the level of nationalism among the people.

Ganesh Chaturthi Traditions, Customs and Activities

Traditions and customs vary from region to region as Hindus around the world celebrate the festival. In India, celebrations are grand, featuring ten days of celebration and worship of Ganesh. On the eleventh day, a statue of Ganesh is paraded through city streets alive with dancing and music.

At the end of the procession, the statue is immersed in a body of water in a sort of symbolization of Lord Ganesh’s journey to Kailash. Celebrations can often be locally competitive in India, with attempts to great bigger and better statues and pandals.

Large celebrations extend abroad to Canada, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where large communities of Hindus live. Of course, Hindus from all parts of the world find reason to celebrate Lord Ganesh and his birthday whether in private or in public.

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