Essay On Ganesh Chaturthi – Why we celebrated?

Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival which is celebrated in the Bhadra month of the Devanagari calendar on the day of Shukla Chaturthi and culminates on the day of Anant Chaturthi.

Essay On Ganesh Chaturthi

It is celebrated in praise of the Hindu Deity Lord Ganesh who represents prosperity, wealth and wisdom. He is known to be the son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati and the younger brother of Lord Karthikeyan. Folklores and stories of Lord Ganesh and his childhood has been existing for many years.

It was during the Indian Freedom Struggle that this idea of celebrating Lord Ganesh’s birth, childhood and his heroic activities in the form of a festival. The pioneer of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in India was Bhausaheb Laxman Javale, later carried on by Bal Gangadhar Tilak or Lokmanya Tilak from Maharashtra. It is celebrated for 1.5, 3,5,7,11 and 21 days, meaning the idol of Lord Ganesh is brought, invited as we invite guests at home and served for the said number of days.

The idol is served with fruits, cooked food, dairy products and the most popular ‘Modaks’. The idol is not just served with material things but also looked after or cared with a lot of emotions-emotions of love, reverence, compassion, joy and grandeur. It is one of the favourite festivals of children as they connect well with Lord Ganesh’s playful, childlike images and stories.

On the last day of celebration, Lord Ganesh is bid farewell and the idol taken over from the house for its ‘visarjan’. This is done by drowning the idol into the water. This has however led to the pollution of the water because of od the materials used in the idol-making like POP, harmful paints, etc.

Why we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi
Why we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi

This festival has thus seen a transformation towards “Green Idol Making” that is, using environment-friendly materials like grasses, soil, etc. This in turn implies the longing of the devotees to celebrate the festival in a sustainable manner.

Also Read: Bhogi Festival and its significance

Why we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?

Devi Parvati created a statue or idol of a child out of sandalwood and instilled life into it. She asked him to guard the gates as she goes for bathing and does not let anybody enter.

Lord Shiva, as he came near the gates and tried to enter, he was stopped by this child. Angered by this, Lord Shiva and the child broke into tussle wherein Lord Shiva beheaded the child. Grieved and irked by this action of Lord Shiva, she asked him to get the child ahead and make him alive, failing to which she would destroy the world.

Lord Shiva then instructed his followers to go and get ahead of any child whose mother has her back towards the child, in negligence and ignorance. His followers got him the head of an elephant. Lord Shiva then installed the head into that child’s body and brought him to life. This is why we have an elephant-headed God in Hindu culture. This is why we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, to honour his new birth.

It was then, that Lord Vishnu decreed that Lord Ganesh, an embodiment of knowledge, wisdom and prosperity shall be the first among all, to be praised by the devotees. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in many parts of the country, especially in the southern states.

Another reason as to why we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in its present form lies in the advent of the freedom struggle against the British in the country. It was because of some oppressive actions and inaction by the British like the ignorance and negligence of country people during the plague outbreak.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Besides, the announcement of Partition of Bengal instigated the need of raising the bars of nationalism and also uplift the lost glory of the country’s glorious past of diversity of culture but still remain united. To spread the word of SWADESHI and fervour of nationalism in the country people, he chose this path of gathering people and celebrating the diversity of religious practices in the country woven in one string of Unity.

Ganesh Chaturthi today, has evolved in its way of celebration, social events and public display. Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is as big and colourful as any fair in the country. The celebration which started from the Deccan states like Maharashtra is now widespread in almost every corner of the country.

It is either celebrated inside the homes, privately or have public idols for open, public worship. Any which ways, the festival is another solid representation of our country’s colourful, grand culture and also the beauty of unity in diversity.

It has, however, also caused some contentions because of the increased footfall of devotees for worship. The queue for having a glimpse of the deity is so congested that we do often hear incidences of a stampede, harassment and even death in worst cases. Here, we as humans need to understand that the very reason why Lord Ganesh existed in our culture was to spread the word of wisdom, maturity and compassion towards fellow beings.

Our real gift to him would be our deeds of humility, compassion and respect towards each other while on the journey to meet him (during the festival). Notwithstanding, this festival fills us with joy, playfulness and also a sense of purity of soul. There are a variety of ways, practices that are associated with the different ways to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi all over the country.

The intent, devotion, however, remains the same everywhere. Decoration of the pandals, homes reaches new levels of creativity and innovation. Themes from movies, new scientific events, political and social issues are picked up and displayed in the pandals.

Conclusion

Ganesh Chaturthi celebration is truly a festival of colours, light, creativity, solemnity and unity. People from different religions, forgoing their religious boundaries come together to commemorate the celebration. It might be this reason why it is considered as one of the great Hindu festivals after Deepavali. This is how and why we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in the country.

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