Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival of Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. 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. This festival is observed in the lunar month of bhadrapada shukla paksha chathurthi madhyahana vyapini purvaviddha. If Chaturthi prevails on both days, the first day should be observed. Even if chaturthi prevails for the complete duration of madhyahana on the second day, if it prevails on the previous day's madhyahana period even for one ghatika (24 minutes), the previous day should be observed.
Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Goa,Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal which was only Hindu Kingdom in the world and Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka.
In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned from the battle, but as Ganesha did not know him Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering Parvati's chamber. Shiva, enraged by Ganesh’s impudence, drew his trident and cut off Ganesha's head. Parvati emerged to find Ganesha decapitated and flew into a rage. She took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened destruction of the three worlds, heaven, earth and the subterranean.
Parvati was in a dangerous mood and, seeing her in this mood, the other gods were afraid. Shiva, in an attempt to pacify Parvati, sent his ganas, or hordes, to find a child whose mother is facing away from the child in negligence, to cut off the child's head and return quickly with it. The first living thing they came across was an elephant facing north, the auspicious direction associated with wisdom, so they returned with the head of the elephant. Shiva placed it on the headless body of Parvati's son and breathed life into him. Parvati was overjoyed and embraced her son, the elephant-headed boy whom Shiva named Ganesha, the lord of his ganas. Parvati was still upset, however, so Lord Shiva announced that everyone who worships Ganesha before any other form of God is favoured. This is why Ganesh is worshipped first at all Hindu occasions and festivals.
Vinayaka / Ganesh Chathurthi Recipes
On this huge Indian holiday, the birth of Lord Ganesha is worshipped. Since this is such a huge occasion, there are a great many wonderful South Indian recipes for this day! To start with, any kozhukkattai will do. Also, some kind of payasam is a must! Vade are worthy as well, along with any kind of chundal. Enjoy!