Today is Vinayaka Chathurthi. What is it?

 

Vinayaka Chathurthi or Ganesh Chathurthi is the Hindu festival for the birthday of Ganesh who is worshipped as the god of good fortune, wisdom and prosperity. All over India it is celebrated on the forth day after the new moon in the month of Avani in the Tamil calendar, in August or September.
 

Lord Ganesh

Lord Ganesh

Traditionally people believe projects started on this day will succeed and prosper because Ganesh will remove any obstacles which may arise. Ganesh is also called Vigneswara which means obstruction remover and Vinayakar which means there is no greater god.


Celebrations include making or buying an elaborately painted clay statue of Ganesh which is placed in a special structure in the area. A small statue is shown on the right. Priests conduct special poojas, or prayer services. Public celebrations are widely attended and communities compete to see who can have the biggest statue.

 

A dumpling called Modakam that is made from rice or wheat flour and stuffed with various sweets is an important palaharam (sweet cake) that is prepared during this festival.

 

 

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