Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated every year on the birthday of Lord Ganesha or Vinayagar in Tamil. This festival is called as Vinayagar Chaturthi or Pillayar Chaturthi in Tamilnadu. This festival usually falls between the month of mid – August and mid – September. Lord Ganesha is believed to be the God of Prosperity and wisdom. Before the beginning of any poojas, religious ceremonies, travel, traditionally Lord Ganesha is invoked since he is the God of good fortune and believed to remove obstacles to success.
Ganesh chaturthi is widely celebrated all over the country by Hindus in a very decorative and grandeur way. This is one of the festivals which is celebrated with whole entertainment and enthusiasm. Lord Ganesha also known as Ganapathi in Tamil is believed as the head to all. There is a interesting story behind the birth of Lord Ganesha and how he got the elephant head. One day Parvathi Devi, consort of Lord Shiva created Ganesha through the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and gave him life breath. She set him as the guard at the door while she was taking bath. When Lord Shiva returned,he did not let him to go inside. As both of them do not each other this thing happened. Lord Shiva was enraged and he severed the head of the child. After came to know that child is his own son, he fixed the head of an elephant thus Ganesha got elephant head in the place of his head.
During the festival time, different types of idols of Ganesha are made. People installed the idol in their house and worship him with chants. The idol is usually made of clay. In the house before starts the pooja, it is placed on the raw rice. To start the pooja, put the flower garlands on the idol and lit the lights. Poojas are performed with vedic chants with different types of flowers. Bermuda grass (arukampul in Tamil) is one of the suitable thing to offer Lord Ganesha.
As a offering to the god, modakas (sweet prepared with rice flour, coconut, jaggery), fruits and flowers are placed. In Tamilnadu, they usually offer coconuts, bananas, betel leaves for nivedhanam along with above said things.
The next day after being the pooja is again performed, then the idol is taken to immerse it in the water. Some celebrates this festival for five, seven or eleven days. It is believed that the misfortunes of man are also dissolved in water since Ganesha is the lord for good fortune.
Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated in the street corners by placing big idols of the Lord. All over India particularly in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu this festival is celebrated in a grandeur way. Decorations are made grandly and fireworks are cracked. On the day of immersion in to the water, thousands of people gathered and the big idols are being taken in procession to immerse it in river or sea. During the procession, drum beats, dancing, singing are performed throughout the way. The festival ends in this way by worshiping Ganesha and invite him to return back next year.