Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great fanfare by Hindus across different parts of India. The celebrations of the festival in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in the state) are worth special mention. People indulge in the merrymaking by observing fast for the entire day. Idols of Lord Ganesha are made few months prior to the festival. The devotees sing songs, burst crackers and dance to the tune of traditional drums, as the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken on a procession. The streets are filled with the devotees of Lord Ganesha. The air is filled with festivity on the occasion. The devotees of Lord Ganesha visit the nearest temple of the deity, on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Special pujas are performed at temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha or the puja pandals (temporarily built for the occasion), in the honor of the deity. Modak (laddoo, a sweet) is offered to the god, as it is his favorite. The devotees, who want to show their immense love and honor to the idol, observe a fast for the entire day. It is believed that by observing fast on Ganesh Chaturthi with sincerity and devotion, Lord Ganesha blesses his devotees with health, wealth and prosperity. Since vrat is an important part of the celebrations, vrat katha (the story narrated during Ganesha puja) is also prominent. In the article, we have provided the vrat katha of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesha Chaturthi Vrat Katha
According to the legends, Goddess Parvati was taking bath. While bathing, she created an idol made of mud, named it Lord Ganesha and placed it at the entranceway. She breathed in life to the idol and hence, Lord Ganesha was born. She instructed him to act as a guard and not allow anybody inside, unless she has finished bathing. After some time, Lord Shiva, the consort of Goddess Parvati, entered home. He was very thirsty. As he was approaching Goddess Parvati to quench his thirst, he was stopped by Lord Ganesha.
Stubborn Lord Ganesha didn't allow Lord Shiva to enter the premises, where Goddess Parvati was taking bath. This made Lord Shiva very angry and consequently, he beheaded Lord Ganesha. When Goddess Parvati came to know this, she became intensely angry and grew ferocious and strong enough to destruct the world. All the Gods from swarglok and Lord Shiva himself requested the highly aggressive Goddess Parvati to calm down. In order to pacify her, Lord Shiva fixed the head of an elephant onto Lord Ganesha's body. Not satisfied with it, Goddess Parvati asked that Lord Ganesha should be worshipped before all the other gods. Since then, Lord Ganesha is invoked first, before worshipping any other deity. This story makes the foundation for the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in different parts of India.