Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Ganesh Chaturthi, is a 10-day Hindu festival marking the birthday of Lord Ganesh who is widely worshiped for auspicious beginnings. Lord Ganesh, patron of arts and sciences is the deity of intellect and wisdom. He is identified by his elephant head.
In 2012, Ganesh Chaturthi, which is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada starts on Sept. 19 and lasts until Sept. 29. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over India and among the Hindu Indian diaspora, and it is observed in an especially grand manner in Maharashtra.
Prior to the festival, skilled artisans prepare clay models of Lord Ganesh. Houses are cleaned as devotees prepare to bring the Lord Ganesh into their homes and install the deity. Special prayers, devotional chanting and singing are performed on all 10 days. Delicious sweets are prepared and distributed on this joyous occasion. On the 11th day, the Ganesh statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea.
Indian Hindus take part in a procession ahead of the Ganesh Chaturti festival in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Sept.18, 2012. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Hindu devotees transport a statue of elephant headed Hindu god Ganesha on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Indian Hindu women dance during a procession ahead of the Ganesh Chaturti festival in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Sept.18, 2012. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Indian Hindus take out a procession ahead of the Ganesh Chaturti festival in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Sept.18, 2012. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
An Indian woman paints Ganesh statues which are displayed for sale on a footpath as her child rests on the eve of the Ganesh Chaturti festival in Bhubaneswar, India, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
Devotees carry a statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, for immersion in the sea on the last day of “Ganesh Chaturthi” in Mumbai September 3, 2009. Clay statues of Ganesh are made two to three months before the day of “Ganesh Chaturthi”, a popular religious festival in India. The idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of his journey towards his abode in “Kailash”, while taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. (REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe)
Statue of Hindu elephant headed god “Ganesh”
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