Ganesh Chaturthi (IAST: GaneshÂ Chaturthi), also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chaturthi) or Vinayaka Chavithi (Vinayaka Chavithi) is the Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha. A ten-day festival, it starts on the fourth day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls in the months of August or September of the Gregorian calendar. The festival is marked with the installation of Ganesha clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals (temporary stages). Observations include chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts such as Ganapati Upanishad, prayers and vrata (fasting). Offerings and prasada from the daily prayers, that is distributed from the pandal to the community, include sweets such as modaka believed to be a favorite of the elephant-headed deity. The festival ends on the tenth day after start, wherein the idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting, then immersed in nearby water body such as a river or ocean. In Mumbai alone, around 150,000 statues are immersed annually. thereafter the clay idol dissolves and Ganesha is believed to return to Mount Kailash to Parvati and Shiva.
The festival celebrates Lord Ganesha as the God of New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles as well as the god of wisdom and intelligence and is observed throughout India, especially in the states such as Maharashtra, Goa, Telangana, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, and is usually celebrated privately at home in states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is also observed in Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora elsewhere such as in the Trinidad, Suriname, Fiji, Mauritius, United States and in Europe (in Tenerife).
At public venues, along with the reading of texts and group feasting, athletic and martial arts competitions are also held.