Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha who is the supreme God of wisdom and prosperity. Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. There is an interesting story about Lord Ganesha’s birth. While Parvathi was going to bath, she made a human structure with the help of unguent and balm. She gave him life and said him to guard the door and told him not to allow anyone. After long gap Lord Shiva returned from meditation and was stopped by Lord Ganesha. Lord Shiva got furious about this and cut his head. Later he came to know that he is Parvathi’s son. By knowing this, Lord Shiva ordered his attendants to bring the head of first living creatures which they see. They brought elephant head. It was attached to Lord Ganesha and brought him back to life. Lord Ganesha is taken as the most auspicious god of new beginning.
It is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada of Hindu calendar which generally comes in the month of August/September. Festival lasts for ten days. It starts on shukla chaturthi and ends on Ananta Chaturdashi. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in home and publicly in local community groups.
Ganesh Chaturthi is started by selecting and installing a clay idol. For public celebrations, mandapas and pandals are erected. They are funded by local people and commercial establishment. After idol installation, idol is decorated by various items. During installation priest will perform the Prana Pratishtha ritual which is followed by 16 step ritual named Shodashopachara. Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, Upanishad, Ganapati Atharvashirsa and Ganesha stotra are chanted during the process. On the 11th day, the idol is taken through the streets in a convoy accompanied with singing and dancing, and is immersed in a river or sea. It symbolizes a ritual send-off of Lord Ganesha in his journey towards his home in Kailash while taking away the misfortunes of all man.