As per Hindu calendar, the popular Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of Bhadra which begins on the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) and ends on the fourteenth day (Ananth Chaturdasi) during the waxing moon period. The festival is known by different regional names in various parts of the country. In the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, it is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, and in the state of Tamil Nadu it is called Pillayar Chaturthi. In Goa the festival is popular by the name Parab or Chavath. In the state of Kerala, it is called Lamboodhara Piranalu.
Countless features of Lord Ganesha are revealed by the various regional names of Ganesh Chaturthi. The origin of the name Vinayaka is from the Sanskrit word ‘Vishesharupen nayakaha’, which literally means nayak or leader. As per the ancient scriptures of Manavgruhyasutra, ‘Vinayakganas’ or attendants of Vinayaka are distressing. Vinayaka is capable of destroying the Vinayakganas. As this festival is celebrated on the fourth day (chathurthi) of the fortnight of the waxing moon period, it is known as Vinayak Chaturthi. Throughout India, this festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is known by different regional names.
In Tamil Nadu, God Ganesh is popular by the name Pillayar. In Tamil, the word ‘Pille’ means child and ‘Pillayar’ means “noble child”. Lord Shiva is worshipped widely in Tamil culture and hence his child is regarded as noble child. As per some scholars, the word ‘pallu’ or ‘pela’ means an elephant’s tusk and Pillayar refers to young elephant. Ganapati or Pillayar are the popular names of Lord Ganesha in Tamil Nadu.
In Goa, the celebration of this festival involves performance of a variety of musical instruments like Ghumot, shamel, etc. Goans call the festival as Parb or Parva, which means auspicious celebration.
In spite of the countless regional names of Ganesh Chaturthi, the most important aspect of this festival is abolishing all obstacles that prevent the path of attaining spiritual knowledge.