Ganesha Chaturthi which is also known as Vinayaka Chavithi is celebrated by Hindu’s around the world.It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.This festival is generally celebrated in bhadra pada masa i.e., between mid August to mid September.It is celebrated with great devotion and with peace of mind.It is one of the grand festival celebrated in almost every part of the country.On this occasion, each and everyone place a clay model of Lord Ganesha in their homes and worship for seven to ten days with great devotion.The preparation of these Idols get started from 2 to 3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi.The size of these idols may vary from 3/4th of an inch to 25 feet and even more.
According to Hindu stories ,Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Siva and Parvati.There is a saying that Goddess parvathi has created Lord Ganesha with the sandal paste that she used for bath and created a figure and breathed life into it.Then she said to that little boy to stand guarding at the door till she completes her bath.At that time, Lord Shiva who had gone out earlier returns back and as the little boy doesn’t know Lord Siva, he did not allowed him.Then Lord Siva got extreme anger and told his followers to teach a lesson to the little boy.But being born to Parvati, he is very powerful, thus defeated Shiva’s followers and declared that nobody was allowed to enter while his mother was bathing.Thus Lord Siva got even more anger and cut the head of the child.Parvati after seeing this was furious towards Siva.Then Lord Siva promised that her son will be alive again.In search of that ,devas could not find the head of a dead person facing north,But they founded the head of a dead elephant facing north.They brought the head of the elephant and Lord Siva fixed it on the child’s body and brought him back to life.Then Lord Siva declared that from this day this boy would be called as Ganesha.
Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Maharashtra:
In Maharashtra almost every Hindu family will establish their own clay statue in their homes and worship with great devotion.According to the people of Maharashtra ,their domestic celebrations come to an end after the completion of 1 day or 3 days or 5 days or 7 days or even 11 days.At the end of any of these days, people take the idol and immerse in large water bodies like rivers or sea.But due to some environmental concerns ,large number of families are immersing their statue or idol in a bucket of water at home itself.Later the clay from these statues are used for gardening.
Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Andhra Pradesh:
In Andhra Pradesh, clay Ganesha or Matti Vinayaka is mainly worshiped in each and every Hindu house.Few people worship Ganesha that is made out of Turmeric and few worship Plaster of Paris Ganesha.The festival celebrations will continue for five to ten days depending upon the family traditions.People believe that praying Lord Ganesha will fulfill their desires and wishes.He also blesses us by removing all the obstacles in our life.
Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu celebrates Ganesha Chaturthi very grandly.This is also known as Vinayaka Chavathi in Tamil Nadu.This festival falls after the new moon day in the month of aavani.In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated in all homes by worshiping the idol of Lord Ganesha that is made out of clay.The idol of Lord Ganesha is decorated with flowers and garland.Few dishes like Modak, ladoo and other dishes are offered to Lord Ganesha.In Tamil Nadu we can find Lord Ganesha idols placed in public places during the period of festive days.The height of these idols will not exceed 13 feet and they are made out of paper and clay as Plaster of Paris is banned by the State Government.Some of the idols are made out of coconuts, fruits, rudraksha and other organic materials.After worshiping for five to ten days they are immersed in Bay of Bengal.The police department make special arrangements for celebrating the festival peacefully with great joy.
Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Kerala:
In Kerala Ganesh Chaturthi is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Lamboodhara Piranalu.This festival generally falls in the month of chingam.During the festive days, the temples have huge crowd and people worship idols of Ganesha by offering nivedyam.Cultural programs are held at different localities and elephants are worshiped throughout Kerala.In Kerala ,on the day of visarjanam the large possessions the tall statues of Lord Ganesha are taken to the nearby water bodies and are immersed in them.The streets are fully decorated with flowers, lighting and rangolis.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Goa:
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the very important festival that is being celebrated by the Hindus in Goa.The festival preparations begin a month before and the actual festival is on the month of Bhadrapada masa.On this day ,women worship goddess Gouri with lord Siva.Festive celebrations include Pujas, Arati, feasts and many more.According to the tradition of Goa, many classical music instruments are played on the festive day.In most of the places festival is celebrated for two days and on the second day the idols are immersed either in the sea,rivers or tanks and wells.