Ganesh Chaturthi (also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Gaṇesa Chaturthi or Vinayaka Cavithi) 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).
Chaturthi (Hindi चतुर्थी) means “fourth day” or “fourth state”. Celebrations are traditionally held on the fourth day of the first fortnight (ShuklaChaturthi) in the month of Bhaadrapada in the Hindu calendar, usually 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 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, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and other parts of western and southern India. Abroad, Ganesh Chaturthi is observed in the Terai region of Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora in the United States, Canada and Mauritius.
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