Ganesh Chaturthi, Overcome Obstacles to Travel the World
Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chaturthi) is the Hindu festival which celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha. In the Hindu religion Lord Ganesh is the god of wisdom and learning, and is worshiped as the remover of obstacles. Ganesh, also known as Ganapati, is an elephant-headed god and is one of the most popular gods among Hindus worldwide.
It is customary to worship Lord Ganesh at the start of any religious festival or event. One of the many legends behind this custom is “Once Ganesh and his elder brother Karthik were competing against each other as to who was more powerful. They were asked by their parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati, to race around the universe and the winner would be rewarded. So Karthick set out on his Peacock to race around the universe but Ganesh, the intelligent one, circled around his parents. Surprised by his act, Shiva asked him the reason and he replied that his parents constituted his entire universe. Impressed by his wisdom, dedication and love Lord Shiva declared Ganesh the winner and stated that henceforth he will be worshipped first before any other god.”
Lord Ganesh is an elephant headed God, and one of the most popular legend behind is “Once Goddess Parvati, Ganesh’s mother, had asked him to stand guard while she was taking a bath. When her husband Shiva wished to enter the room, he was opposed by his son Ganesh. In his rage, Shiva cut off Ganesh’s head. Distressed by her husband’s enraged behavior, Parvati asked him to replace his head. Shiva replaced it with the head of the first living being that he encountered, namely an elephant.”
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of the first fortnight (Shukla Chaturthi) in the month of Bhadrapada in the Hindu calendar, usually during the month of August or September. The celebration lasts for 10 days and is very popular in the western part of India, especially in the state of Maharashtra. This year Ganesh Chaturthi starts on 25th August 2017.
Ganesh Chaturthi can be celebrated at home. You can purchase all the necessary puja items (puja means worship) and Ganesh idols from the local Indian grocery stores. After the puja is performed, usually the idol is immersed in the sea or other convenient body of water. You have the option to donate the idol to local temple or ask the temple authorities for immersion ritual.
If you are interested to witness this festival in the Bay Area, then don’t forget to attend the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration at the California’s Great America, Santa Clara hosted by Radio Zindagi from 1st to 3rd September 2017. See https://www.facebook.com/RadioZindagi. The Livermore Hindu temple also performs the puja. You can see the details at: https://www.livermoretemple.org/hints.
If you want to be a part of an authentic Mumbai-style celebration then pack your bags and book your tickets to Mumbai to experience the real pulse of this festival. If you need a helping hand on the flight then sign up with Tripcompanion.com to find your trip companion.