Ganesha Chaturthi (गणेश चतुर्थी) is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the god Ganesha, the elephant-headed remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom. The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
The festival involves installing clay Idols of lord Ganesh in public pandals (temporary shrines), which are worshipped for ten days with different variety of herbal leaves, plants and immersed at the end of the festival in a water(lake) along with the Idol. After adding herbal and medicated plants and leaves(patri) in lakes, the water in the lake become Hygienic. This was in practice because, in early days people used to drink lake water, and to protect people with infections and viral diseases especially in this season, this tradition was introduced. Some Hindus also install the clay images of Ganesha in their homes. It is believed that Ganesha bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival. The festival is celebrated as a public event since the days of Shivaji (1630-1680).
While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra and other parts of Western and Southern India. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Fiji, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guyana.