10 Days with Gajanana
Lord Ganesha’s 10 days tour during Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' or 'Vinayaka Chavithi' is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the grandest and most elaborate of them, especially in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of 'Ananta Chaturdashi'.
The preparation starts one month in advance, with great enthusiasm, to celebrate this auspicious occasion. A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet. The festival starts with the installation of beautifully sculpted Ganesha idols in homes and mandaps. These idols are decorated beautifully and show religious themes.
For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. The occasion also sees various cultural events being held every where, in which people participate with interest. The occasion becomes very lively and enthusiastic with the devotional songs, dances and drum beats being a part of the procession observed by the devotees of Lord Ganesha, as a part of the festivities. Ganesh Chaturthi is the only festival that involves and welcomes the participation of general public.
The immersion of idols traditionally takes place on the third and seventh day of the festival. On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. All join in this final procession shouting "Ganapathi...