Ganesh is the youngest son of Lord Shiva and Parvati and is popularly called as the God of fortune and prosperity. The ten-day festival Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over the world to worship him on the occasion of his birthday. The festival begins on the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) of the waxing moon period and ends on the fourteenth day (Anant Chaturdashi).
Similar to Diwali and Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi is considered as one of the major festivals in India. Other than India, the festival is nowadays celebrated in different parts of the world following its rituals and magnificence.
United Kingdom: A lot of Indians are now settled in United Kingdom, making it one of the largest centers for non-resident Hindus. Hindu Culture and Heritage Society of UK is a London based organization which is responsible for conducting the main function of the festival. Originally, the celebration in UK was initiated by the Vishwa Hindu Temple earlier in 2005. The Gujarati community organizes another celebration, which is celebrated in the Southend-On-Sea. About 18000 devotees participate in the festival to pay their reverence to Lord Ganesha.
Thailand: There are several devotees in Thailand who celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and surprisingly most of them are non-Hindus. Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Utthayan Ganesh temple of Thailand celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in tune with the worldwide celebration of the festival. Main celebration of this festival happens in Bangkok. There is a 38 feet tall Ganesh idol at the Nakhon Nayok temple situated at a distance of 106 km from Bangkok. The idol is made out of eco-friendly materials and is one of the biggest of its kind in South East Asia. The delicacies served during the celebration are completely homemade.
America: A large section of the working class in USA consists of non-resident Indians who celebrate most of the Indian festivals with high spirits. Different communities, religious institutions and groups celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in different parts of USA. In North America, the Philadelphia Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrated at the Bharatiya Temple, Chalfont, Pennsylvania is considered to be the largest public funded event. The Sai Samsthan, in Warrenville, Illinois also celebrates this festival, which is considered to be one of the magnificent Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations outside India. A number of devotional and cultural programs are performed during this occasion and a large number of devotees assemble at the temple complex and participate in processions.
France: Similar to USA, the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated in many places of France. The main celebration is focused on the idol of Lord Ganesh in Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam temple of Paris. Men and women dressed up in traditional style participate in a huge procession. Women carry lighted lamps on their head and men break coconuts to celebrate the occasion.
Apart from these, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated worldwide in grand manner in many other countries of Europe and South East Asia, including Vietnam, Singapore, and Mauritius. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most favorite festivals of the Hindus all over the world who worship Lord Ganesha for prosperity and fortune.