Lord Ganesha is the elephant headed God and is among the most revered and worshiped Hindu deities.
The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is held to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesh, also known as 'Vinayaka', the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The event celebrates Lord Ganesh, who is also known as the god of knowledge and intellect, as well as the God of New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles.
Ganesh Utsav begins with the Chaturthi Utsav and falls during the time of ‘Bhadrapada Madhayani Purvabhadra’. On Ganesha Chaturthi, 'Ganapati Sthapana' hai s offered to Lord Ganesh through an invitational ritual for establishing life in the idol.
The Ganapati Puja is performed during the Madhyahna part of the day, considered the most suitable time for Ganesha Puja according to Vedic astrology.
The regalia associated with Ganesh Chaturthi was originally started by Chhatrapati Shivaji during the month of Bhadrapada. Later, freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak hailed the Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav festival to unite people in celebration across caste divides and turn the celebration into a significant and well-attended public event. Lord Ganesh was put forth as the deity who would bridge the divide between Brahmins and non-Brahmins, revering Ganesh as the God for all, in order to create a unification among them and create a nationalistic sentiment in challenging the then British colonial authority.
Today Ganeshotsav is one of the foremost and widespread Hindu festivals celebrated across Maharashtra along with other west Indian states as well as in several parts of the world. This festival lasts for ten days and culminates in the immersion of the Ganesh idol in water known as "Visarjan''.
Popular public celebrations of the holiday are planned by neighborhood societies, trade associations, or local youth organizations. Ganesh idols are established in temporary structures called mandaps or pandals or in residences. During the holiday, community events as well as cultural performances are organized to celebrate and bring people together.
Throughout the ten day celebration, a series of ceremonial offerings, Puja is observed through ritualistic hymns and songs from religious texts such as the Upanisdhad to tribute the Lord of Wisdom and prosperity.
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