|Ganesha Chaturthi (August -September)|
Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati is commonly worshipped as the kind god of wisdom. Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival that reveres Lord Ganesha and is celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Started by Chhattrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, to propagate culture and nationalism, the festival was given an impetus by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The idea was to spread the message of freedom struggle and confront the British who had banned public assemblies. The festival passed on a sense of unity to Indians and revived their patriotic spirit.
Mumbai is the spotlight of Ganesha Chaturthi. Preparations begin much in advance- images of Ganesha are set up, imaginative arrangements are made for decoration and Ganesha is ardently honored for about 7-10 days. On the day of the Chaturthi, the last of the days dedicated to the elephant-headed god, processions congregate on the beaches of Mumbai to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This immersion is accompanied by drumbeats, devotional songs and dancing..
Every year, the largest Ganesh idol is installed at Khairatabad in Hyderabad, which is more than 30 ft tall.