Every year around the month of September or August, in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, on the fourth day of the waxing moon period the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated across the nation. The God Ganesh or Ganpati is the Elephant headed deity believed to bring good fortune and is prayed to first among all the Hindu gods. Although an important festival since 1600 in the state of Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi was popularized only in the 1920’s by the revolutionary leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak as a means for getting people together socially to instill nationalism and a sense of common purpose under the British Rule. Tilak a prominent leader of the Swadeshi movement promoted the celebration of the festival as a 10 day long ritual across his parent state of Maharashtra. Soon the fever spread to multiple states and added to the already not inconsiderable list of pious annual celebrations was this one. The rituals for this festival are the establishment of the idol, its initial worship followed by aartis ( The recitation of hymns along with circular motions of oil lamps in front of the idol), regular aartis and short pujas day and night for the next 1.5 , 3, 5, 7 or 10 days depending on your enthusiasm. All this is followed by the visarjan ( idol immersion with the chant : come back next year!)
Here are some snaps of how me and my family celebrated the occasion.