Hindu Temple & Heritage Fdn.
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It is the Hindu festival celebrated in honor of the god Ganesha, the elephant-headed. The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between August and September. The festival usually lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
The modern festival involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals (temporary shrines), which are worshipped for ten days. These are immersed at the end of the festival in a body of water such as a lake, along with the idol. Some Hindus also install the clay images of Ganesha in their homes. The festival was celebrated as a public event since the days of Maratha King Shivaji (1630–1680). However, the public festival as celebrated in Maharashtra today, was introduced by Bhausaheb Laxman Javale in 1892 by installing first Sarvajanik (Public) Ganesh idol- Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati, Bhudwar Peth, in Pune. The first meeting regarding starting the Sarvajanik Ganesh utsav took place under the leadership of Bhausaheb Laxman Javale at his residence (Bhudwar Peth) now known as Bhau Rangari Bhavan. In 1893 Lokmanya Tilak praised the concept of Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav in Kesari Newspaper. In 1894, he installed Ganesh idol in Kesari wada, Pune too and started preaching Ganesh Utsav.
While celebrated all over India, it is grandest and most elaborate of them especially in Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,Telangana,Goa and in other parts of Western India and Southern India. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Terai region of Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora in the United States, Canada, Mauritius, and other places.
Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or "Dussehra" (also spelled Dasara). Navaratri is an important major festival and is celebrated all over India. Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated twenty days after Dasara. Though there are total five types of Navaratri that come in a year, but Sharad Navaratri is the most popular one. Hence, the term Navaratri is being used for Sharad Navaratri here.