Ganesh Chaturthi (IAST: Gaṇēśa Chaturthī), also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (Vināyaka Chaturthī), is the Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha. A ten-day festival, it starts on the fourth day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls in Gregorian months of August or September. The festival is marked with installation of Ganesha clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals (temporary stage). Observations include chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts such as Ganapati Upanishad, prayers and vrata (fasting). Offerings and prasada from the daily prayers, that is distributed from the pandal to the community, include sweets such as modaka believed to be a favorite of the elephant-headed deity. The festival ends on the tenth day after start, wherein the idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting, then immersed in nearby water body such as a river or ocean, thereafter the clay idol dissolves and Ganesha is believed to return to Mount Kailasha to Parvati and Shiva.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and Ganeshotsav. According to Hindu calendar it is celebrated on the fourth day of the bright half of Bhadrapad. During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, idols are made in great numbers.
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 (and dissolve) in a body of water such as a lake or pond.
It is celebrated throughout India, especially in Maharashtra, 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, Andhra Pradesh, 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.
Ganesha Chaturthi is also observed in Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora elsewhere such as in the Trinidad, Suriname, Fiji, Mauritius, United States and Europe (such as in Tenerife, Spain).
Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' or 'Vinayaka Chavithi' is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Ganesh may also be known by the names Ganapati, Ekadanta, Vinayaka, Pillaiyar and Heramba.
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