Ganesha Chaturthi is a festival celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesa, the elephant-headed god, remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom. The festival 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 images of Ganesha in public pandals or homes, which are worshipped for upto ten days with different variety of herbal leaves, plants and immersed at the end of the festival in a waterbody along with the Idol. After adding herbal and medicated plants and leaves, the water becomes purified.
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 grandest and most elaborate in Maharashtra.