Ganesh Chaturthi 2013: Hindus celebrate birthday of Lord Ganesha

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the Hindu festival of Lord Ganesh. It is a 10-day festival marking the birthday of Ganesh, who is widely worshipped for auspicious beginnings. Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences and the deity of intellect and wisdom, also known as Remover of Obstacles.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over India and among the Hindu Indian diaspora, and it is observed in an especially grand manner in Maharashtra. Prior to the festival, skilled artisans prepare clay models of Lord Ganesha. Houses are cleaned as devotees prepare to bring the Lord Ganesh into their homes and install the deity. Special prayers, devotional chanting and singing are performed for all 10 days. Delicious sweets are prepared and distributed on this joyous occasion. On the 11th day, the Ganesh statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea.

This festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, and the date usually falls between Aug. 20 and Sept. 15. In 2013, Ganesh Chaturthi begins on September 9.

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Devotees carry an idol of Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, into the water from Girgaum Chowpatty beach before immersing it in the waters of the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, on September 11, 2011. Idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual send-off of his journey towards his abode in “Kailash”, while taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash)

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A man carries an idol of Hindu elephant headed god Ganesha to immerse it in the Arabian Sea on the fifth day of the ten day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, on September 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Devotees carry an idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai

Devotees carry an idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, September 29, 2012. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing and later immersed in a river or the sea symbolising a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode, taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Devotees carry an idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, September 29, 2012. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing and later immersed in a river or the sea symbolising a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode, taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Devotees carry an idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, September 29, 2012. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing and later immersed in a river or the sea symbolising a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode, taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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By Jura Nanuk

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