Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day Hindu festival celebrated in honor of the birthday of the elephant-headed god Ganesha. He is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Ganesha is known by 108 different names and is the God of arts and sciences and the god of knowledge. He is honored at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies as he is considered the god of beginnings. He is widely and dearly known as Ganapati or Vinayaka.
There are two different versions about the birth of Ganesha. One is that Goddess Parvati created Ganesha out of the filth of his body while bathing and installed him to guard his door while completing the bath. Shiva who had gone out returned at that time, but Ganesha did not know about him, so prevented him from entering. After a fight between the two, an angry Shiva beheaded Ganesha.
Parvati became furious and Shiva promised that Ganesha would live again. The gods who went in search of a dead man’s head facing north could only manage the head of an elephant. Shiva rested the elephant’s head on the child and brought him back to life.
Another legend has it that Ganesha was created by Shiva and Parvati at the request of the gods, a Vighnakarta (obstacle-builder) in the path of the demons (demonic beings) and a Vighnaharta (obstacle-destroyer) to help the Devas.