Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav, is a revered Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god. It commences with the installation of clay idols of Ganesha in homes and pandals. The festivities begin with the Pranapratishtha, a ritual infusing life into the idols, followed by Shhodashopachara, the 16 ways of paying homage. Amidst Vedic hymns and chants from texts like the Ganesh Upanishad, the idols are adorned with red sandalwood paste and flowers and offered coconut, jaggery, and 21 Modaks, Ganesha’s favourite sweet dumplings.
The festival culminates with grand processions, accompanied by music and dance, leading to the immersion of idols in rivers, symbolizing Ganesha’s return to Mount Kailash, his celestial home.