India Celebrates Vinayaka Chaviti this Sunday, 01-Sep-11. The festival is called by different names in different parts in India. While the Maharashtra (Bombay, Pune) people call it Ganapati, the Kannada (Bangalore) people celebrate it as Gauri Ganesha, the Telugu's (Hyderabad) Vinayaka Chaturdhi and the Tamils (Madras) Vinayagar Chaturthi.
As per Hindu mythology, Vinayaka (Ganesha/Ganapati) is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (Gauri/Uma). Ganesha is the Isha (ruler) of Gana's - the groups of attendants of Lord Shiva. He controls all the obstacles that humans may face in this world.
Irrespective of the festival day, through out the year, all Hindus worship Ganesha before starting any major task of their life. Indeed, worshiping Ganesha is the first part of any Hindu ritual.
The annual festival of Ganesh Chaturdhi falls on 4th day of lunar month Bhadrapada and is Vinayaka Chaviti is celebrated with lot of fervor. People set up community worshiping centers in all neighborhoods and conduct puja's.
Some of the neighborhoods in various cities are famous for these community worshiping. For instance, the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal http://www.lalbaugcharaja.com attracts a million devotees on the festival day. The Khairatabad Ganapati http://www.ganapathideva.org is known to be the tallest Ganapati Idol in Hyderabad, every year.
I wish all the readers, a happy Ganesha Chaturdhi!