Lord Ganesh is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. (The birth order of their children differs based on region: In northern India, Murugan is often said to be the elder, while in the south, Ganesha is considered the first born.)
Ganesh was the beloved son of his mother Goddess Parvati and according to the legends he was made from the dust rubbed from her body mixed with sacred oils during a time when Lord Shiva was away in meditation. Especially Parvati made him for her protection, as a security guard. She created her son in completely human form. The legend behind his elephant head is as follows: Goddess Parvati was taking her bath and Lord Ganesh was asked to not allow anyone to pass until she finished. Lord Shiva returned from his meditation and summoned Parvati to him. Not knowing his father, Ganesh refused him. After several attempts Lord Shiva got infuriated and cut off Ganesh’s head. When Goddess Parvati found her son dead, she ordered Shiva to restore him. Lord Shiva said he could grant the wish, but that the boy’s head had been destroyed and the only option was to use the head of another on his body. Lord Shiva sent his messengers through the camp to bring him the head of any creature that slept facing north. They found only a sleeping elephant and they returned with its head. Shiva attached it to the body of the boy and restored him to life and Lord Ganesh is recognize by his elephant’s face today.
In order to sooth his feelings at being laughed at by other children his parents granted Ganesh the gift of being the god to be worshipped at the start of all things. People who begin new businesses or students writing their exams starts with his symbol, written in different ways in different parts of India. In Tamil Nadu, it is known as ‘Pillaiyar suli’ (Pillaiyar-child Ganesh & Suli-symbol). In North India, it is pronounced as Shree. Devotees use sweets as offerings when they worship Lord Ganesh, as he was fond of sweets named Laddoo. His birthday is grandly celebrated as ‘Ganesh Chaturti’ by the North Indians. He is worshiped all over India and mouse is his vehicle.