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Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration in India

While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Goa (Biggest festival for Konkani people all over the world), Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas.

Two to three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi, life-like clay models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale by especially skilled artisans. They are beautifully decorated & depict Lord Ganesh in various poses. The size of these statues may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet.

Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures mantapas (pandals) in every locality. The pandals are erected by the people or a specific society or locality or group by collecting monetary contributions. The mantapas are decorated specially for the festival, either by using decorative items like flower garlands, lights, etc or are theme based decorations, which depict religious themes or current events. The statues are worshiped with families and friends.

The priest, usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl, then invokes life into the statue amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is the Pranapratishhtha. After this the ritual called as Shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 modakas, 21 durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered. The statue is anointed with red unguent, typically made of Kumkum & Sandalwood paste . Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and the Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.

For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. On the 11th day, the statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. All join in this final procession shouting "Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukar ya" (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the statue to the river to immerse it.

The main sweet dish during the festival is the modak (modagam or modakam in South India). A modak is a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments. It is either steam-cooked or fried. Another popular sweet dish is the karanji (karjikaiin Kannada) which is similar to the modak in composition and taste but has a semicircular shape.

Public celebrations of the festival are hugely popular, with local communities (mandalas) vying with each other to put up the biggest statue & the best pandal. The festival is also the time for cultural activities like songs, dramas and orchestra and community activities like free medical checkup, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, etc.

Today, the Ganesh Festival is not only a popular festival - it has become a very critical and important economic activity for Maharashtra. Many artists, industries, and businesses survive on this mega-event. Ganesh Festival also provides a stage for budding artists to present their art to the public. The same holds true for Hyderabad too.

# Name of the Festivals Date
1 April Fool Day 01 April, 2017 (Saturday)
2 Odisha Day 01 April, 2017 (Saturday)
3 Bank Holiday 01 April, 2017 (Saturday)
4 Lakshmi Panchami 01 April, 2017 (Saturday)
5 Rohini Vrat 01 April, 2017 (Saturday)
6 Skanda Sashti 01 April, 2017 (Saturday)
7 Yamuna Chhath 02 April, 2017 (Sunday)
8 Navapad Oli 03 April (Monday) - 11 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
9 Masik Durgashtami 04 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
10 Ram Navami 05 April, 2017 (Wednesday)
11 Babu Jagjivan Ram Birthday 05 April, 2017 (Wednesday)
12 Kamada Ekadashi (Shukrodaya) 07 April, 2017 (Friday)
13 Vamana Dwadashi 07 April, 2017 (Friday)
14 Pradosh Vrat 08 April, 2017 (Saturday)
15 Shani Trayodashi 08 April, 2017 (Saturday)
16 Panguni Uthiram 09 April, 2017 (Sunday)
17 Mahavir Jayanti 09 April, 2017 (Sunday)
18 Purnima Upavas 10 April, 2017 (Monday)
19 Chaitra Purnima 11 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
20 Hazrat Ali’s Birthday 11 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
21 Hanuman Jatanti 11 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
22 Jallianwala Bagh Day 13 April, 2017 (Thursday)
23 Baisakhi / Vaisakhi 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
24 Rongali Bihu / Bohag Bihu / Haat Bihu 14 April (Friday) - 16 April, 2017 (Sunday)
25 Tamil New Year / Puthandu 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
26 Dr Ambedkar Jayanti / Bhim Jayanti 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
27 Vishu Festival 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
28 Sankashti Chaturthi 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
29 Solar New Year 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
30 Mesha Sankranti 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
31 Vishu Kani 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
32 Biju Festival 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
33 Good Friday 14 April, 2017 (Friday)
34 Bengali New Year / Poila Baishakh 15 April, 2017 (Saturday)
35 Easter 16 April, 2017 (Sunday)
36 World Haemophilia Day 17 April, 2017 (Monday)
37 Patriots' Day 17 April, 2017 (Monday)
38 World Heritage Day 18 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
39 Kala Ashtami, Kalashtami 19 April, 2017 (Wednesday)
40 Garia Puja 21 April, 2017 (Friday)
41 Varuthini Ekadashi 22 April, 2017 (Saturday)
42 Shri Vallabhacharya Jayanti 22 April, 2017 (Saturday)
43 Earth Day 22 April, 2017 (Saturday)
44 World Book Day / International Day of the Book 23 April, 2017 (Sunday)
45 Shab E Miraj 24 April, 2017 (Monday)
46 Pradosh Vrat 24 April, 2017 (Monday)
47 Manav Ekta Divas 24 April, 2017 (Monday)
48 Papmochani Ekadashi 24 April, 2017 (Monday)
49 Masik Shivaratri 25 April, 2017 (Tuesday)
50 Darsha Amavasya 26 April, 2017 (Wednesday)
51 Parashurama Jayanti 28 April, 2017 (Friday)
52 Varshitap Parana 28 April, 2017 (Friday)
53 Akshaya Tritiya 28 April, 2017 (Friday)
54 Matangi Jayanti 29 April, 2017 (Saturday)
55 Ramanuja Acharya Jayanti 29 April, 2017 (Saturday)
56 Basava Jayanti 29 April, 2017 (Saturday)
57 Vinayaka Chaturthi 29 April, 2017 (Saturday)
58 Rohini Vrat 29 April, 2017 (Saturday)
59 Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti 30 April, 2017 (Sunday)
60 Surdas Jayanti 30 April, 2017 (Sunday)
61 Kaila Devi Fair
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