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Ganesha Chaturthi (also known as Vinyaka Chaturthi, Gana Chaturth or Vinyaka Chaviti)

is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha. This is a very
auspicious day celebrated to pray to the god so that every new activity that is started is
successfully completed without any obstacles .(Vighna = Obstacle).He is the God of knowledge.
(Knowledge = )
Chaturthi (Hindi ) means "fourth day" or "fourth state". Celebrations are traditionally held on
the fourth day of the second fortnight (Shukla Chaturthi) in every month and is also know as
"Vinayaka Chathurti", but the biggest annual celebration in the month of Bhaadrapada in
the Hindu calendar, usually is August or September in the Gregorian calendar. Badrapad
corresponds to Virgo (simha/avani-tamil) in solar calendar. The festival generally lasts ten days,
ending on the fourteenth day of the fortnight (Anant Chaturdashi).
The festival is celebrated by families at home, by people at their places of work and in public.
The public celebration involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals (temporary
shrines) and group worship. At home, an appropriately-sized clay image is installed and
worshipped with family and friends. At the end of the festival, the idols are immersed in a large
body of water such as the sea, river or a lake. The clay idols disintegrate over time in the water.
It is celebrated throughout India, especially in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra
Pradesh and Telangana. There is a grand celebration in the state of Maharashtra by traditional
instrument called dhol and tasha. It is also celebrated in the other parts of India such
as Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala,Goa,[1] Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and
other parts of western[2] andsouthern India.[3] Abroad, Ganesha Chaturthi is observed
in Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora in the United States, Canada andMauritius.[4]

Celebrations[edit]

70 feet Ganesha Murti in Vishakhapatnam

Celebration in Vadodara

Public Preparations for the festival begins months ahead. They are usually funded by local
residents, businesses and community organizations.The idol making in Maharashtra usually
begins with"Padya pooja" or worshipping the feet of Lord Ganesh. The idols are brought to
"pandals" or temporary structures usually 1520 days before. The pandals have elaborate
decoration and lighting.
At home the festival begins with the purchase and then the ceremonial installation of a
clay murti (idol). Families decorate a small, clean corner with flowers and other colourful items
before installing the idol. When the idol is installed, it and its shrine are decorated with flowers
and other materials.
In preparation for the festival, artisans create clay models of Ganesha for sale. The idols range in
size from 34 inch (1.9 cm) for homes to over 70 ft (21 m) for large community celebrations.[5] The
date for the festival is usually decided by the presence of chaturthi thithi. The festival is held
during"Bhadrapada madyahanaa purvabaddha". If chaturthi thiti begins at night on previous day
and gets over by morning on next day then the next day is observed as vinayaka chaturthi. In
the consecration ceremony, a priest performs a Prana Pratishtha to invite Ganesha into the idol.
This is followed by the 16-step Shodashopachara ritual, [6] (Sanskrit: Shodash, 16; Upachara,
process) during which coconut, jaggery, modaks, durva grass and red hibiscus flowers are
offered to the idol. Depending on the region of India,during the ceremony, hymns from
the Rigveda, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa, the Upanishads, and the Ganesha stotra (prayer) from
the Narada Purana are chanted.In Maharashtra, Aartis are performed with friends and family,
typically in the morning and evening

India[edit]

Artist at work in Margao, Goa

Khairtabad Ganesha in Hyderabad

Vinayagar Chathurthi festival in Tamil Nadu

In India, Ganesha Chaturthi is primarily celebrated at home and in public by local community
groups in the central and western states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,Gujarat and Goa and
the southern states of Karnataka,Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu
At home[edit]
At homes in Maharashtra, families install small clay statues for worship during the festival. The
idol is worshiped in the morning and evening with offerings of flowers, durva(strands of young
grass), karanji and modaks.[7][8] The worship ends with the singing of an aarti in honour of
Ganesha, other gods and saints. In Maharashtra the Marathi aarti "Sukhakarta Dukhaharta",
composed by the 17th century saint ,Samarth Ramdas is sung.[9] Family traditions differ about
when to end the celebration. Domestic celebrations end after 1, 1 12, 3, 5, 7 or 11 days. At that
time the idol is ceremoniously brought to a body of water (such as a lake, river or the sea) for
immersion. Due to environmental concerns, a number of families now avoid bodies of water and
let the clay statue disintegrate in a barrel of water at home. After a few days, the clay is spread in
the home garden. In some cities a public, eco-friendly process is used for the immersion. [10] In
Maharashtra, Ganeshotsav also incorporates other festivals, namely Hartalika and the Gauri
festival, the former is observed with a fast by women on the day before Ganesh Chaturthi whilst
the latter by the installation of idols of Gauris.[11]

In Goa, Ganesh Chaturthi is known as Chavath in Konkani and Parab or Parva ("auspicious
celebration");[12] it begins on the third day of thelunar month of Bhadrapada. On this
day Parvati and Shiva are worshiped by women, who fast.[1] Instruments such as ghumots, Crash
cymbals ( (taal) in Marathi and (Zaan) in Konkani) and pakhavaj (an Indian barrelshaped, two-headed drum) are played during the ceremonies.[13] The harvest festival, Navyachi
Pancham, is celebrated the next day; freshly-harvested paddy is brought home from the fields (or
temples) and a puja is conducted. Communities who ordinarily eat seafood refrain from doing so
during the festival.[1]
In Karnataka the Gowri festival precedes Ganesha Chaturthi, and people across the state wish
each other well. In Andhra Pradesh, Ganesha idols of clay (Matti Vinayakudu) and turmeric
(Siddhi Vinayakudu) are usually worshiped at home with plaster of Paris idols.