The title itself suggests that the article is about Ganesh Chaturthi. Being a Hindu moreover a native of Pune, this festival is extremely special to me. Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival dedicated to the Hindu Deity, Ganesha. The festival is immensely popular in my state Maharashtra.
The festival was popularised by freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
The elephant-headed deity has an interesting story. Ganesha was created in a completely human form by his mother Goddess Parvati. She carved him with the earth or mud from her own body. One day she asked him to guard the door as she had a bath.
When her own husband, Lord Shiva was denied permission to enter, he became furious and a great battle took place. The battle was won by Shiva when he beheaded Ganesha. He was overcome by guilt due to his act and decided to revive Ganesha. As Ganesha’s original head was nowhere to be found, Shiva ordered his men to get the head of any animal they see first.
They found an elephant with one tusk who willingly sacrificed his head. Shiva joined the elephant’s head to Ganesha’s body with his magical powers and that is how Ganesha was born.
About The Festival
The festival is celebrated for 11 days. People keep a Ganesha idol in their homes for some days and worship it. The time period varies ranging from 1.5 days to 11 days.
The last day is called Visarjan, the idol is immersed in water. Earlier, an idol made of POP was used and the Visarjan was done in rivers. But due to environmental concerns, people have started using idols made of clay and the idol is immersed in a bucket. On the 5th day, Gauri Pujan is celebrated when an idol of Goddess Parvati is installed in the house.
The characteristic food item of Ganesh Chaturthi is Modak. The sweet is said to be Lord Ganesha’s favorite.
So next time you visit Maharastra do take time to check this festival.