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Ganesh Puja

Time: Bhadrapada shukla chaturthi ( August/September )
Description : Ganesha Chaturthi 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 Bhadraba, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. In Hindu culture, Ganapati or Lord Ganesha is always worshipped before starting any Puja. Lord Ganapathy eradicates all difficulties faced by an individual.

Ganesh Puja is preferred during Madhyahana as it is believed that Lord Ganesh was born during Madhyahana Kaal. Madhyahana Kaal is equivalent to midday according to Hindu division of the day. Ganpati is one of the most popular deities. Both Shaivites and Vaishnavites worship him. The god is offered prasad like modak and laddu in pandals. He is considered to be an avatar of both Shiva and Vishnu. In this day images of Ganesha are installed within homes as well as in places of assembly in whole Orissa.

It is customary to begin a child's education on this day. Schools, colleges and other places of learning organize special worship of Lord Ganesha. Many schools and colleges also organize cultural activities. The most significant aspect of this day is that Hindu children are taught reading and writing their first words on this day - as it is considered an auspicious day to begin a child's education. Students may also offer writing utensils and notebooks, which are used by them after the festival. During the festival, student do not undertake any study related activity. After Ganesh Visarjan, study activities are resumed.

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