Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival, which marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesha, who is a popular Hindu deity, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The festival is celebrated with immense joy and dedication in all parts of India, especially in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra where it is celebrated for a long period of 10 days. As per Hindu beliefs, Lord Ganesh was born during the Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada, which as per the English calendar, generally falls somewhere between the months of August and September, and this year in 2017, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on the 25th of August, which is a Friday.
Ideally, Ganesha has an elephant head and is known as the healer of all obstacles. During this festival, clay idols of Lord Ganesha are brought to people’s homes and also in the colonies, and priest enchants mantras to go ahead with the rituals. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is said to be the god of wisdom, prosperity, as well as good fortune. In many states, an idol of Ganeshais installed under Bodhi trees, which are known to be trees with great healing power, as it is also said that the tree releases oxygen at night, unlike other trees that release carbon dioxide, and has the capability of curing up to 50 ailments. The deity is offered with modaks—a popular sweet dish offered as prasad, alongside different kinds of foods and delicacies.
The festival is celebrated in full swing, with dances, cultural segments, competitions and also religious activities in devotion for Lord Ganesha. Practically, the festival marks the beginning of the whole festive season in India, as following Ganesh Chaturthi, festivals like DurgaPuja, Diwali and Laxmi Puja are celebrated in the country in great spirits.
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