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9 Fascinating Facts About Ganesh Chaturthi That You Had No Idea About!

Ganesh Chaturthi, the birthday of Lord Ganesha is celebrated every year during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada with much fervor and enthusiasm. The beautiful festival ends with the immersion of Ganesha idols. Slogans of Ganpatti Bappa Morya accompany the procession of Lord Ganesha while he is being taken for Visarjan or immersion.

It is believed that Lord Ganesha himself descends on Earth to bless his devotees on this day and anyone who worships him during this time is certain to find success in whatever he endeavours. 

According to tradition, one should not to look at the moon during some specific times on Ganesh Chaturthi as it is believed if a person looks at the moon, he’ll be cursed and will be accused of theft. The belief originated from the incident from Lord Krishna, who was falsely accused of stealing a valuable jewel. It was Sage Narada who suggested that Lord Krishna must’ve seen the moon on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi and was cursed because of it. Therefore it is believed, anyone who saw the moon during a specific time in Ganesh Chaturthi would be cursed in a similar way.

There are several other fascinating things about the festival that you probably aren't aware of. Read on.

• Much credit goes to revolutionary freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak for resuscitating interest in the festival. It was during 1893 when Tilak urged the masses to unite and come together to celebrate the festival. The main motive was to unite people and inculcate feelings of patriotism in them. Sadly, when India finally got freedom, Lok Manya Tilak wasn't there to witness it.

• Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is believed to be the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. Although Lord Ganesha was one of the primary deities of the “Smartism” of 9th century but it is believed that he emerged as a distinct deity since the time of the Gupta period (4th – 5th century). Thereafter the “Ganapatya” distinguished Lord Ganesha as a supreme deity. 

• The biggest Ganesha idol is located in Vishakhapatnam and measures more than 70 feet tall.

• Modak is believed to be a favourite of Lord Ganesha and is especially prepared during the festival.  Literally, it refers to something that brings joy.

• Lord Ganesha is also refered as "Vigna Harta" (the remover of obstacles) and "Buddhi Pradaayaka" (the giver of wisdom and intellect). In fact, there are around 108 names of Lord Ganesha, but Ganesha and Ganpati are more common.

• Ganesha Chaturthi is also the day when Lord Shiva declared Ganesha to be above all Hindu Gods, excluding Vishnu Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati.

• Lord Ganesha is sometimes represented with only one tusk. This form of Lord Ganesha is known as Ek Dant. There are many myths about the missing tooth of Ganesha. The most common is the story about the tooth being lost as it was hurled at the moon who had offended Ganesha by mocking him. 

• Though many believe Ganesha to be a bachelor, there are numerous instances where Ganesha is represented with two wives-Ridhi and Sidhi. Both of them were created by Brahma to placate Ganesha who was distraught at not having any wife when several Gods and deities had more than one. While Ridhi stands for wealth and prosperity, Sidhi symbolises intellect and wisdom. It is believed that anyone who worships Lord Ganesha also invokes the blessings of his wives.

• Lord Ganesha is a non-sectarian Hindu deity and hence at the time of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival you will notice that there is a rendezvous of people belonging from different social status.

• The immersion of the idol takes place on the day of Anant Chaturdasi. The word Anant means infinite or eternal energy or immortality, whereas Chaturdasi means 14th. Thus, the occasion falls on the 14th day of the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar and on it Lord Ananta, which is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu is also worshipped. Immersion of the idol has a belief attached to it; Hindus believes in the concept of constant change in the world which construes what it is there today in one form or the other will tomorrow be formless. The concept of immersion is thus, a reminder of this belief.