Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated with great fanfare throughout India. It is a ten day festival which commences on the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) and ends on the fourteenth day (Anant Chaturdashi) of the waxing moon period. The re-birth of the elephant headed deity; Lord Ganesha is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. This festival is known by various names such as 'Vinayaka Chaturthi' and 'Vinayaka Chavithi'. There are rather weird and amazing stories behind Ganesh Chaturthi celebration.
There are strange stories related to the birth of Ganesha. The stories behind Ganesh Chaturthi are contained in the book, Brahma Vivartha Purana, under the section of Ganesha Khanda. There are many stories which narrate the birth of the God of Supreme Self, Lord Ganesha. He is identified with the Supreme Self. Lord Ganesha is considered to be the God of spiritual knowledge, prosperity and good fortune.Among the innumerable tales, the most popular one is that of goddess Parvati creating a human figure out of sandalwood in order to provide her the privacy she needed while bathing.
The stories behind Ganesh Chaturthi are rather bizarre ones. One of the stories narrates that once Goddess Parvathi had created a human figure out of sandalwood in order to guard her door as she bathed. Another story says that the human being was created by Parvati out of the dirt of her body while she bathed. Whatever might be the material used for creation, the human figure was created by the goddess and life was instilled in it. The sole purpose of creating the human being was for guarding the deity’s door for the privacy required while bathing. But at that moment, Lord Shiva came back home and was furious to have been denied entry by the guard. In a fist of fury, Shiva chopped off the guard’s head, only to realize later that what a blunder he had done by beheading a human creation of Parvati. Lord Shiva then instructed his ganas or attendants to bring him the head of the first living creature they could find. The first living creature they could find was most certainly an elephant, whose head they chopped off and brought it to Lord Shiva. The deity then replaced back the chopped head and infused life into it. This elephant headed Godwas named Ganapati or Ganesha, which means the chief of ganas or attendants of Shiva. Ganesha is regarded as the most auspicious Godwho graces marriage ceremonies and all other events held for undertaking new ventures.Ganesh Chaturthi is thus the celebration of the re-birth of Lord Ganesh.
Another story regarding the birth of Ganesha says that he was created by Shiva and Parvati on request of the Devas, to be a vighnakartaa (obstacle-creator) in the path of rakshasas (demonic beings), and a vighnahartaa (obstacle-averter) to help the Devas.
The story/stories behind Ganesh Chaturthi are very amazing ones which incites our curiosity and revives an interest in us to know about the origin of a popular Indian Festival.