What is Ganesh Chaturthi and what is its significance?
The day of birth, advent or incarnation of Lord Ganesha is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesha is an immensely popular God, who is hailed as a personification of auspiciousness, a remover of obstacles and a harbinger of success, and is both loved and venerated. Chaturthi means the fourth day. Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the waxing Moon phase (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, which corresponds to the Tamil month of Aavani and to the period, mid-August to mid-September.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the very important festivals of India. In the Western Indian states like Maharashtra, it remains the biggest one, which is celebrated for more than a week. Ganesh is the lord who bestows both, Buddhi, intelligence and spiritual wisdom and also, Siddhi, success and material benefits. Hence ganesh chaturthi is celebrated, not only as an occasion for worship and observance of religious austerities, but also as the time for fun, feasts, social get-togethers, bonhomie and joy.
Why is it important to take care of health during the Ganesh Chaturthi occasion?

Preparations for the celebrations begin in advance and making the necessary arrangements may require a lot of running around. The house should be well prepared to receive the Lord in the form of his idol, and this may require cleaning, white washing or painting, and also decorating. The puja or the ritualistic worship on the chaturthi day may be quite elaborate and running for hours, making it some sort of a mini fast for many people. Also special worship needs to be done on all the days, the idol is installed at home. All these can be strenuous for anyone and can be quite demanding for the aged and the sick. Hence, maintaining good health during the occasion assumes a lot of importance.

What measures can be taken for staying healthy during the Ganesh Chaturthi?

Sweets, savories and other snacks will be prepared at homes during this time, when feasts will also be organized. While all these can be taken and enjoyed, It is very essential to consume them in moderation. As long hours of abstaining from food may make one tired, drinking a good amount of water at regular intervals can keep one hydrated and stable. A generous intake of vegetables, especially the green leafy ones, fruits and fiber rich items, can provide rich nutrients like vitamins, iron and calcium, and keep people energetic. While sweets are good in giving energy, it is necessary to exercise control over their number, as it may lead to complications, especially for diabetics. The same applies for fried items also, and in fact, it is good to avoid them totally, as these high fat items can lead to gastric problems. And when it comes to beverages, better to stay away from drinks like coffee, tea and soft drinks. Fresh fruit juices can be consumed instead, which will provide energy and keep people in good shape.

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