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FESTIVAL OF INDIA – GANESHOSTAV : Festival are integral part of any culture. Celebrated throughout the year, the galaxy of Indian Festival makes the Indian Heritage the richest. Vibrant colours, brightly lit places, traditional cuisines & sweets, dance & music, dresses & ornaments, fasting & feasting, exchanging gifts & good will, prayers & processions, rituals & holidays. To welcome a new season or a new year, the harvest or the rain; on religious occasions or birthdays of Gods, saints, and gurus or to worship the Sun & the Moon…… Regions or reasons may vary and so do the names. But, the festive spirit, concept of universal brotherhood, warm hospitality and enthusiasm appeals people across the globe to be a part of it. The God of intellect and knowledge, ‘Ganesh’, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is worshipped at the beginning of every important event. Loved by young and the old, he loves ‘ Modak’ and ‘Laddus’ and rides a mouse. ‘Ganeshotsav’ has cultural and historical significance and is celebrated twice a year. Once as ‘Maghi Ganpati’, falling in February or March, and the next as ‘Bhaadrapad Ganesh Chaturthi’, falling in August or September, ending on ‘ Anant Chaturdashi’ after 11 days is not only popular in Maharashtra but all over India and abroad. Significant days like ‘ Haritalika Teej’, ‘Rishi Panchami’ and ‘Gauri Ganpati’ are also observed during this festival. Ganesh idols in various poses and sizes, decoration themes, huge pandals, bright lights, serpentine queues along with faith, devotion and the enthusiasm fill the atmosphere with a divine energy. Large processions with live band, sing and dance, ‘Gulal’ and fireworks, proceed to the immersion site. This magical journey and spiritual trance comes to an end with an intense moment, as people bid farewell to their ‘Ganpati Bappa’. But also await His return to bless them again the next year chanting ‘Ganpati Bappa morya! Pudhchya Varshi Laukar Yaa’.