Lord Ganesh, who is also known by various other names such as Ganapathi, Vinaayaka or Vighneswara, is the God who helps us overcome obstacles in life. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi. He is the elephant faced God who is worshipped as the very first deity before beginning any ceremony, ritual or vow. Worshipping Ganapathi endows man with the courage and confidence needed to enter upon and carry through any undertakings in the world. The festival to celebrate and glorify him is called Ganesh Chaturthi.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and many other parts of India. The festival gave the Indians a feeling of unity and revived their patriotic spirit and faith. A various sizes of clay idols of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesh (Ganesha), the god of wisdom and prosperity on the fourth day of the moons bright fortnight, or period from new moon in the lunar month of Bhadrapada. The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi continue for five, seven, or ten days.
Ganesha statues installed in street corners and in homes, and elaborate arrangements are made for lighting, decoration, mirrors and the most common of flowers. Poojas (prayer services) are performed daily. The artists who make the idols of Ganesh compete with each other to make bigger and more magnificent and elegant idols. Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This procession and immersion is accompanied by drum- beats, devotional songs and dancing.
The festival ends with pleas to Ganesha to return the next year with chants of "Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya" (Hail Lord Ganesh, return again soon next year.
This year Ganesh Festival starts on 3rd September,2008 upto 14th Sept.2008. If you are interested in photography ...visit India during this period.....
Photo credits: Prashant Vaidya.