The Ganesh festival is eagerly looked forward to and widely celebrated across the world. However, the biggest celebration is in the state of Maharashtra in India. These 11 days are a time of great food, sweets, music, exploring the bylanes that have been done up with the beautiful pandals. However, this elaborate festival is not just pomp and show. It has a deep seated history with roots in Hinduism and the Indian Independence battle.
Ganesh Chaturthi was initially celebrated by the Peshwas but it soon lost its glory after their downfall. However, with the British rule getting more and more brutal with the passing of time, it was absolutely imperative that the warring clans of India unite to fight against the common enemy. With this intent, freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak revived this festival and transformed it from a domestic festival into a large scale public event.
People were encouraged to come out of their houses, socialize and plan events and pandals. Effectively, this festival brought about a huge change in the way everyone from different social stratas interacted, starting off during the course of this festival.
Read more about the evolution of the festival over each year, right here.