Ganesh Chaturthi helps promote goodwill, friendship and unity among people, Governor Mridula Sinha said in her message on Wednesday, on the eve of Goa’s most popular Hindu festival.

“A festival like Ganesh Chaturthi is an appropriate occasion to promote goodwill, friendship and unity among the people, which will enable us to maintain the harmony and amity in the state,” Sinha said.

“Such mass celebrations were first started by freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak. The leader saw the need to unite Indians more and realised nothing can bond people more than a common idol, equally worshipped by all.

“He popularised Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival ‘to bridge the gap between the people from different religions, castes, social backgrounds and status,” Sinha added.

Ganesh Chaturthi festivities begin in the state on September 13.