Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy Ganesha Chathurthi to all

Tomorrow or rather in a few minutes as the clock strikes 12.00 am the big day starts for adherents of Hinduism like me. It is the festival of Ganesha Chathurthi/ Ganesha Festival, the day when Lord Ganesha, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, comes down to earth and blesses his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi.

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Students worship Ganesha seeking knowledge, learning and wisdom. Adults worship Lord Ganesha for removal of obstacles in their life and to get good fortune.

Lord Ganesha is also known as Vighneshwara meaning the "removar of obstacles". Devout Hindus always perform a Ganesha pooja before starting any enterprise, work, contract etc, requesting the Lord to remove obstacles in the way and to help achieve their goal smoothly.

The festival begins by installtion and consecration of an idol of Lord Ganesha which is ceremonially worshipped by offerings of Modak (sweet made of jaggery and coconut), fruits and flowers.

While the festival is celebrated all over India, it is most popular in Maharashtra,Goa (Biggest festival for Konkani people all over the world), Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Outside India, it is celebrated by Newars in Nepal.

A note of warning though, if anyone catches a glimpse of the Moon on this day, he/ she will face bad luck.

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