Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the Hindu festival of Lord Ganesh (or Ganesha). It is a 10-day festival marking the birthday of Ganesh, who is widely worshipped for auspicious beginnings. Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences, and the deity of intellect and wisdom. In 2011, Ganesh Chaturthi starts on 1 September and ends on 11 September. “Ganesha” literally means “Lord of Hosts”.
Ganesha and His brother Lord Subramanya once had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to their Father, Lord Shiva, for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subramanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. But the wise Ganesha went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents, Lord Shiva and Ma Durga, and asked for the prize of His victory.
Lord Shiva said, “Beloved and wise Ganesha! But how can I give you the prize; you did not go around the world?”
Ganesha replied, “No, but I have gone around my parents. My parents represent the entire manifested universe!”
Thus the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers