Essay on Ganesh Chaturthi: Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival popularly known as Vinayak Chaturthi to celebrate Lord Ganesha’s birth, which falls during the Hindu month of Bhadra. It is celebrated as a symbol of prosperity, wisdom & good fortune. It is widely celebrated across India by installing statues & offering prayers for 11 days.
Essay on Ganesh Chaturthi
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Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival considered the most consecrated Hindu festival of India. It is also popularly known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and is celebrated for ten days every year. It is celebrated in the month of August or September and marks the birthday of the beloved elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Lord Ganesha is known as the God of wealth, prosperity, knowledge, good fortune, and science; hence Hindus express great devotion and seek his blessings before commencing any new work. Moreover, He is revered with 108 different names like Gajanana, Vighnaharta, Sukhakarta, Vinayaka, etc.
History of Ganesh Chaturthi
There are many stories behind the birth of Lord Ganesha, but the two are the most common and famous ones. According to the first story, all the Gods requested Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to construct Ganesha so that he can create obstacles for demons and help Gods to get rid of them, thus turning into a Vighnaharta (averter of blocks for Devas).
The other popular one is where Ganesha is formed by Goddess Parvati out of her body’s grime to guard her in the absence of Lord Shiva. She handed him the task of protecting her bathroom door while she took a bath. In the meantime, Shiva returned home and saw Ganesha, who did not know who Lord Shiva was, so he stopped him.
This enraged Shiva, and he chopped off his head. Parvati became furious and ordered Lord Shiva to get Ganesha back or else she will consume the entire world, leaving ashes behind. All the Gods were sent to search for a child’s head, but they could only find an elephant’s head. Finally, Lord Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child’s body, and that is how Lord Ganesha was born.
The festival became a social and public event when Shivaji Maharaj patronised it after the Mughal-Maratha war. Also, it gained popularity in the 19th century after the public appeal made by freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak whose chief objective was to unite people against the British and create patriotic waves across the nation.
Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi
There are four rituals performed during the ten-day long festival known as Pranapratishhtha, Shhodashopachara, Uttarpuja, and Visarjan. Before the festival even begins, many sculptors and artisans carve out and decorate idols of Ganesha in various sizes and colours, which provide a spectacular sight and fill the environment with enthusiasm.
Shops are littered with decorative items and materials required during the festival. Sweet shops get crowded, and the flower market is bloomed all around with the people. On the first day, the idols are installed in beautifully decorated pandal at home, temples, and the localities. The priest is called upon to perform pooja and to invoke life in the deity.
Then the idol is adorned with flowers, garlands, lights, sweets. Everyday prayers are offered in the form of Aarti, and Bhajan followed by religious songs, music, dance, and lighting up fireworks. All of this creates a festive mood and brings happiness and joy among the people.
The last day is the day of immersion, where people bid adieu to Ganesha with deep respect and love. While carrying the idol to the sea and immersing, people chant prayers and shout, “Ganpati Bappa Moraya, Pudhachya Varshi Lavkar ya.” That means, Oh Lord Ganesha, please come early next year.
It is believed that devotees who pray to Ganesha are blessed with great wisdom and a positive outlook. Ganesha helps to eliminate the problems and obstacles that hinder their growth and progress. He assists the devotees in every problematic situation by supplementing courage and strength. It is the festival that binds Hindus and non-Hindu’s together and brings unity among them. The eleven days celebration is not a mere celebration but people’s efforts and profound faith in Ganesha.
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