Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the most important festival observed among Hindus throughout India. The worship pattern varies from region to region, lasting from 1 to 11 days. This festival is celebrated as the Birth Day of Ganesha and falls on Shukla Chaturthi in the month of Aavani.
Lord Ganesh – the name itself depicts “Gana -isha i.e. Lord of Ganas". He is a symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. So it is a practice to worship this god whenever a new venture/ business is taken up. He is created by Parvathi by the turmeric, she used for bathing and created life through her breath. He is made elephant headed to defeat Gajamukasuran. There are many stories/ reasons for creation of Ganesha and for his unique appearance.
Now, coming to Chaturthi festival, it has been a practice to make idols, perform pooja by making Modhagam, Kolukattai, Aval, Appam, Pori, Pacharisi idli, Athirasam, etc. After this Pooja, the idols will be thrown into nearby water bodies i.e. well, river or sea. In the olden days, idols had been made with the mud taken near our home and immersed in the well after performing Pooja. This symbolizes the cycle of creation and destruction in Nature.
I think, Ganesh is the only God, versatile enough to be made in different forms. It is believed that when we hold a handful of mud, sandal or turmeric, thinking about Ganesh, the mud will take the form of Ganesh and you need not be an expert in making idols. Many artists express their creativity in making Ganesh idols. Yesterday, I had seen an advertisement for “Robot Bheem Gansha” being exhibited at Valluvar Kottam, Chennai. At last he has taken the latest form “Robot” also! Vinayaka in any form is very cute, right?
These big idols after performing Pooja will be taken out in a procession and all will be immersed in the sea. In the recent years, making big and tall idols out of “Plaster of Paris” has made a serious impact on the environment and now, many shops come out with Ganesh idols using bamboo, coconut shells, Dharba grass etc. So we can buy these idols for Pooja.