Every year Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in India. This year it will be celebrated on September 10. Although the festival is observed across the country but it is celebrated with much pomp and fervour in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, Goa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh.
Also known by the name Vinayaka Chaturthi, it celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha.
The festival will come to an end on September 21.
As per many traditions, Lord Ganesha is worshipped first before beginning any puja or anything auspicious in homes or places of business.
But why do we pray to Lord Ganesha first?
According to the Indian mythology, there are two stories which are considered as the reasons why many Hindu rituals begin first with worshipping of Lord Ganesha.
The first one is where Goddess Parvati orders her son Lord Ganesha to guard her chambers. Following the orders, little Ganesha stops Lord Shiva from entering the chambers, which infuriated the god, and he ends up cutting the head of Ganesha. This made Goddess Parvati furious and she asked Lord Shiva to make her son alive again or she will destroy the whole universe.
Lord Shiva then replaced Lord Ganesha's head with that of a baby elephant, blessing him to be worshipped before anyone.
As per the second mythological tale, there was a race between Lord Ganesha and his elder brother Lord Karthikeya. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati asked both the brothers to go around the world and whoever cones first will be be the winner. While Lord Karthikeya begins his race thinking Ganesha is slow and will never be able to come first, Ganesha went around his parents, stating that they indeed meant the world to him.
Impressed by his love for the parents and intelligence in winning the race, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati blessed Lord Ganesh with the fruit of knowledge along with that of immortality.
This is the reason why we seek blessing from Lord Ganesha before beginning anything new.