Last week it was Ganesh Chadurthi a festival dedicated for lord Ganesh & famous with Hindus all over the world and particularly in India.
So who Ganesh is?
Why Ganesh Chadurthi is celebrated?
Lord Shiva had Nandhi Deva as guard the house of Godess Parvathi. One day Godess Parvathi instructed Nandhi Deva not to allow inside the house as she is taking bath. Lord Shiva arrived at that time and Nandhi Deva allowed his as he is her husband and God of resolution. This Irked Godess Parvathi as Nandi Deva didnt obey her.
Then Lord Shiva was away for war. This time Godess Parvati wanted to bathe and having no-one to guard the door to her house, conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her & obey her orders. Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter.
In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned from the battle but as did not know about Ganesha. Also Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering Parvati’s chamber. Shiva, angered by Ganeshâ€™s impudence and cut off Ganesha’s head with his trident. Parvati emerged to find Ganesha decapitated and flew into a rage. She took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened destruction to the three worlds of Heaven, Earth and the subterranean earth.
Seeing her in this mood, the other Gods were afraid. Lord Shiva, in an attempt to pacify Parvati, sent out his deciples, to find a child whose mother is facing another direction in negligence, cut off his head of the child and bring it quickly. Also he said the head must reach him before the end of dawn.
The first living thing they came across was an elephant. That elephant was facing north (the auspicious direction associated with wisdom). So they brought the head of this elephant and Shiva placed it on the trunk 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 (devoties / followers). Parvati was still upset so Lord Shiva announced that everyone who worships Ganesha before any other form of God is favored. So Ganesh is worshipped first in all Hindu occasions and festivals.
This is why we celebrate Ganesh Chadurthiâ€¦
Hailing from a Hindu family we celebrate as a grand occasion but performing pooja & cooking special food. We buy clay idol of Lord Ganesha and perform abhishegam on the idol. You can see picture on the left taken after performing abshegam by my father & specially cooked food in front of god to celebrate the occasion. We keep the idol in our Prayer Room for 3 days and immerse it in Sea or Pond or River or well inside our home. After the pooja is over first we offer a part of food to Crow (which we consider as our ancestors). After the Crow eats the first bite we come back and cherish the special food cooked. Also in the menu there will be Kozhukattai & Sundal which is my favorite.