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August 22, 2020
Vinayaka Chavithi is the festival that marks the celebrations of the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is also Ganesh Chaturthi which falls on the fourth day of Bhadrapada Masa of Hindu calendar. Usually, it comes in the months of August/September as per the Gregorian calendar.
According to Hindu scriptures, Lord Ganesha is the God of sciences, prosperity, wealth, knowledge, and wisdom. Lord Ganesh is called by 108 different names like Vinayaka, Ganapathi and others. Vighnaharta, another name of Lord Ganesha is considered as the destroyer of obstructions and a leader of success. Hence, devotees seek his blessings before starting a new event, ceremony or business.
The span of this festival differs from 1 day to 11 days, depending on the region and tradition. On the final day of the festival, the idols are taken out in a vivid and artistic procession and immersed traditionally in water.
Historically, it is unknown when the festival started. But, public celebrations of this festival started in Pune from the period of Shivaji (1630-80) before it lost its patronage after the arrival of the British. Further, the British banned public assemblies for social and political purposes of more than 20 people in British India.
In 1893, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak launched the annual domestic festival into a significant, well-organised public event. He opined that the public celebrations of this festival unite everyone from all sections of the society which would be useful to oppose the British rule. Since then, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are being celebrated across India every year with grandeur.