People worship Lord Ganesha (Vigneshwar) during the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesha is one of the most well-known and loved gods in Hinduism and is admired by most members of a Hindu family. People worship/invoke Sri Ganesha before starting any important work. At present, this festival is widely celebrated in its full glory in Maharashtra, Telangana, and the surrounding states. Ganesh Chaturthi is also one of the most important festivals of Hinduism. People worship the god of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity on Ganesh Chaturthi with complete devotion and faith.
On Ganesh Chaturthi, people generally start their day with a bath in the morning, after which they wear clean clothes and perform the Ganpati Puja rituals. Puja rituals include worshiping the idol by chanting mantras, offering aartis and sweets, and singing devotional songs to Lord Ganesha to seek his blessings. Earlier, this festival was observed at a local level only, but now the zeal and enthusiasm of this festival can be seen nationwide. On the last day of the ten-day festival, the statue of Lord Ganesha is carried in a public procession and immersed in the river.
For the first time in 1893, the festival was turned into a grand public event from that of a private celebration that it had been before, by Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak (a social reformer, Indian nationalist and freedom fighter) in Pune. At that time, he made a tradition of worshiping Ganesha to unite Indians against the British rule.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations commence on September 13 this year. Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Utsav) is celebrated every year with much passion and enthusiasm. Apart from the ones inside private homes, large idols of Ganesha are installed in many places and the most famous is the King of Lalbaug- Lalbaugcha Raja. In 1934, a big statue of Lord Ganesha was set up in Mumbai in the Lalbaug area. This year also the King of Lal Bagh was established with great enthusiasm and was decorated beautifully with a golden crown, sitting with pride. The Ambani family and many Bollywood personalities also visit the King every year.
People believe that Ganesha brings great joy and prosperity every year and removes all our obstacles. In order to please Ganesha, devotees make various food preparations for the festival. The day is celebrated as Ganesha’s birth anniversary so that it can be welcomed and respected. This festival starts on the Chaturthi in the month of Bhadrapad (August or September), in the Shukla Paksha and ends on the 11th day, on Anant Chaturdashi. It is very important to worship Ganesha in Hinduism. It is believed that those who worship him with full devotion and faith will be blessed with happiness, knowledge, wealth and a long life.
Nowadays, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as a national festival to remove inequality between Brahmins and non-Brahmins. Lord Ganesha is known by various names, some of which are Ekadanta, God of limitless powers, Heramba (obstacle remover), Lambodara, Vinayaka, God of Gods, God of wisdom, God of wealth and prosperity amongst others. People see off the Ganesha on the 11th day (Anant Chaturdashi) with the complete Hindu ritual of Ganesha Visarjan. They also pray to the God to come back again next year.