There are various legends related to one of the most loving festivals of India, Ganesh Chaturthi.
Legends say that, lord Ganapati was created by goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. She has created him with the dough she used for her bath, as she had needed one door-keeper while she takes bath. For this Goddess Parvati had created one doll first and breathed life into him. And this day is known as the birthday of lord Ganesha. It is also said that, while Goddess Parvati was taking her bath Lord Shiva happened to come there and as Ganesha didn't know him, he didn't allow him to enter the house. As a result Lord Shiva got angry and he beheaded Ganesha. But after realizing the real fact lord Shiva fixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha's head and thus the appearance of Lord Ganesha with the head of an elephant happened.
Another most popular legend found in Skanda Purana says, once Ganesha was invited for a feast in Chandralok. The god, known for his ravenous appetite, stuffed himself with laddoos. When he got up to walk after the meal, he could not balance because of his huge stomach and stumbled. As he fell, his stomach burst and all the laddoos came rolling out. The moon could not contain himself and began laughing. Enraged, Ganesha cursed the moon, causing him to vanish from the universe. However because of the moon's absence, the whole world began to wane. So the gods asked Shiva to persuade Ganesha to relent. The moon also apologized for his misbehaviour. On Shiva's intervention, Ganesha modified his curse. He announced that the moon would be invisible on only one day of a month and would be partially seen for the Ganesha Utsav most part.
Lord Ganesh or affectionately called Ganapati is commonly depicted in homes and offices throughout India as chubby, smiling and a little mischievous. His devotees ascribe to Ganesh the ability to bestow wisdom and wealth upon us humans, thus making him probably the most popular deity in the Hindu pantheon. To repay Ganesha's bounty, in India, especially in Maharashtra and nearby areas around September every year the entire population celebrates the ten day festival of Lord Ganesha's birthday. In the Hindu lunar month of Bhadra, virtually the entire population of the city celebrates his birth in the ten-day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The day is also called Dagadi Chautha, or 'stone-throwing fourth day', in some places, stemming from the belief that if one inadvertently sees the moon on that night, one should throw stones on his neighbour's roof to avert any calamity arising from the curse. In Maharashtra, the great festival of Ganesha begins on this day, with his idol being ceremonially installed. The next ten days, before the beginning of the inauspicious dark half of the month, are spent in praying to the god. These days are considered especially auspicious due to Ganesha's presence in the idol. Vighneshvar, the remover of obstacles, reciprocates by using his powers all through the year.
Last Updated: 19th August, 2017