Ganesh Festival:know when and who started the celebration..

The Ganesh festival is observed every year in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day after full moon).Hence, it is known as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi. It marks the bithday of the cutest and the most lovable God, Ganesh or Ganpati(an elephant headed God). It is a 10 days festival that ends on Anant Chaturdashi and is celebrated with huge enthusiasm in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

But do you when it all started and who started such a huge celebration?

According to historical stories, the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration was started in Maharashtra by the great Maratha ruler, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, for promoting culture and nationalism. The celebration was also continued during the Peshwa times. After the end of the Peshwa rule between the period from 1818 to 1892,  people used to celebrate this festival privately with their family only .

During this period, India was being ruled by the British Rulers. Many leaders and freedom fighters were trying to free India from the British Slavery. One of those eminent leaders was Bal Gangadhar Tilak who is commonly referred as Lokmanya Tilak by the people of Maharashtra state. He brought back the tradition of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration and reshaped the annual Ganesh festival from private family celebrations into a grand public celebration.

He saw that God Ganesh is worshipped by all the people of the society and he popularized the celebration as the National festival. He realized that it is impossible to get freedom from the Britishers unless and until the people themselves does not unite. Hence to bridge the gap between the societies, he chose Ganesh Chaturthi celebration as a medium. He then started the celebration in the year around 1893. He was the first to put in large public idols of Ganesha in pendals and establish the tradition of their immersion on the tenth day. He also published the news in his Marathi newspaper Kesari. People started to gather for the celebration despite of the ban from the British rulers.

Since then, Ganesh Chaturthi has been celebrated throughout Maharashtra and in the other states with great enthusiasm. After the independence of India in 1947, it was declared as a national festival.


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