Ganesh Jayanti 

Ganesh Jayanti also known as Magha shukla chaturthi, Tilkund chaturthi, and Varad chaturthi, is a Hindu festival. This occasion celebrates the birth day of Ganesha, the lord of wisdom. It is a popular festival particularly in the Indian state of Maharashtra held during the shukla paksha chaturthi day in the month of Maagha as per almanac, which corresponds to the Gregorian calendar month of January/February. The distinction between the Ganesh Jayanti and the more popular, almost pan-Indian Ganesh Chaturthi festival is that the latter festival is observed in the month of August/September (Bhadrapada Hindu month). According to one tradition, Ganesh Chaturthi is also considered as the birthday of Ganesha. This festival of Ganesha is also called as the Tilo Chauth or Sakat Chauthis in Uttar Pradesh, where Ganesha is invoked on behalf of the son of a family. It is also called as Tilkund chaturthi in Maharashtra.

As a legend narrated by Nandi to the Sanatkumara sages, god Krishna was charged with stealing as he saw the moon on Magha shukla chaturthi - which was prohibited. He observed fast on this day and got rid of the accusation of stealing.

On the festival day, an image of Ganesha, in symbolic conical form is made out of turmeric or sindhoor powder or some times of cowdung and worshipped. It is later immersed in water on the fourth day after the festival. A special preparation made of til (sesame seeds) is offered to Ganesha and then distributed to the devotees as prasad for eating. A fast is observed during worship during the day time followed by feasting in the night as a part of the rituals.

In addition to fasting on this day, before observing the puja rites for Ganesha (also known as "Vinayaka"), devotees take bath with water mixed with til seeds, after smearing a paste made out of til (sesame) on their body. The fast observed on this day is stated to enhance the name and fame of the individual.

Even though Ganesha is considered a celibate god in Uttar Pradesh (in other places, he is considered as "married"), but on the occasion of the Ganesh Jayanti celebrations, couples worship him to beget a son.
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