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. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September), on the fourth day of the moons bright fortnight, or period from new moon in the lunar month of Bhadrapada. It is the grandest and most elaborate of the festivals, especially in the western India state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of Ananta Chaturdashi.
Ganesha is the god of wisdom and prosperity and is invoked before the beginning of any auspicious work by the Hindus. It is believed that for the fulfillment of one's desires, his blessing is absolutely necessary. According to the mythology, he is the son of Shiva and Parvati, brother of Kartikeya - the general of the gods, Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and Saraswati-the goddess of learning. There are numerous stories in Hindu mythology, associated with the birth of this elephant-headed god, whose vehicle is the Mooshak or rat and who loves Modaks (droplet shaped Indian sweet).
Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion all over India. People bring home murtis of Lord Ganesha and celebrate the festival by worshiping the Lord in a special way for a day and a half, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending on the family tradition and commitment of each individual. On the last day of worship the idol is taken out in a colourful and musical procession to be immersed traditionally at a beach.
This is one of the most popular festivals in the Country. There are several reasons for this. Ganpati is after all a popular God. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as He is the one who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities.