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Ganesh Chaturthi

  • Date Submitted: 09/02/2011 07:03 AM
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Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesha Chaturthi (Devanagari: गणेश चतुर्थी, Kannada: ಗನೆಶ ಚತುರ್ಥೀ), also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is the Hindu festival of Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the birthday of Ganesha who is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 20 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in western and southern India. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada and Fiji.
History
It is not known when and how Ganesh Chaturthi was first celebrated. But according to the historian Shri Rajwade, the earliest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations can be traced back to the times of the reigns of dynasties as Satavahana,[citation needed] Rashtrakuta[citation needed] and Chalukya.[citation needed] Historical records reveal that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were initiated in Maharashtra by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and nationalism. And it had continued ever since. There are also references in history to similar celebrations during Peshwa times. It is believed that Lord Ganapati was the family deity of the Peshwas. After the end of Peshwa rule, Ganesh Chaturthi remained a family affair in Maharashtra from the period of 1818 to 1892.
In 1893, Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual domestic festival into a large, well-organized public event.[2]
Tilak recognized the wide appeal of the deity Ganesh as "the god for everybody",[3][4] and popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival in...

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