Festivals

Lohri

Lohri Is A Popular Festival Celebrated By Punjabi People Of Sikh Faith As Well As Hindu Faith. Lohri Is Mainly Sikh Festival However The Day Of Lohri Is Decided Based On Hindu Calendar. Lohri Is Closely Linked To Hindu Festival Makara Sankranti And It Is Celebrated One Day Before Of That.

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti Is A Significant Day As The Sun Enters Makar Rashi (I.E. Capricorn Zodiac) As Per Vedic Astrology. In Hinduism The Sun Is Worshipped And Known As Surya Deva Who Nourishes All Living Beings On The Earth. Although All Twelve Days In Hindu Calendar When Surya Deva Transits A Rashi Are Considered Significant For Worshipping Surya Deva, Taking Religious Bath In Holy Water Bodies And Performing Charity Activities But The Day When Surya Deva Starts Moving Into Makar RashiIs Considered The Most Auspicious Day Of The Year To Worship Lord Surya.

Vasant Panchami

Vasant Panchami Day Is Dedicated To Saraswati, The Goddess Of Knowledge, Music, Arts, Science And Technology. Goddess SaraswatiIs Worshipped On Vasant Panchami Day. Vasant Panchami Is Also Known As Shri Panchami And Saraswati Panchami. People Worship Goddess SaraswatiTo Get Enlighten With Knowledge And To Get Rid Of Lethargy, Sluggishness And Ignorance. This Ritual Of Initiating Education To Children Is Known As Akshar-AbhyasamOr Vidya-Arambham / Praasana Which Is One Of The Famous Rituals Of Vasant Panchami. Schools And Colleges Arrange Pujas In The Morning To Seek Blessing Of The Goddess.

Maha Shivaratri

Shivaratri Is Great Festival Of Convergence Of Shiva And Shakti. Chaturdashi Tithi During Krishna Paksha In Month Of Magha Is Known As Maha Shivaratri According To South Indian Calendar. However According To North Indian Calendar Masik Shivaratri In Month Of Phalguna Is Known As Maha Shivaratri. In Both Calendars It Is Naming Convention Of Lunar Month Which Differs. However Both, North Indians And South Indians, Celebrate Maha Shivaratri On Same Day.

Holi

Holi Is A Religious Festival Celebrated By Hindus All Over The World. Holi Is Considered As Second Biggest Festival On Hindu Calendar After Diwali. Holi Is Also Known As Festival Of Colors. Places Related To Life Of Lord Krishna Are Known As Braj Regions. Holi Rituals In Braj Regions – Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon And Barsana- Are The Most Famous One. The Lathmar Holi – The Traditional Holi Festivity In Barsana Is World Famous. In Most Regions Holi Festival Is Celebrated For Two Days. The First Day Is Known As Jalanewali Holi – The Day When Holi Bonfire Is Done. This Day Is Also Known As Chhoti Holi And Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan Is Referred To Kama Dahanam In South India. The Second Day Is Known As Rangwali Holi – The Day When People Play With Colored Powder And Colored Water. Rangwali Holi Which Is Main Holi Day Is Also Known As DhulandiOr Dhulendi (धुलण्डी). The Other Less Popular Pronunciations Of Dhulandi Are Dhuleti, Dhulheti.

Chaitra Navratri

Chaitra Navratri Is Nine Days Festivity Which Starts On The First Day Of Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar And Falls In The Month Of March Or April. Chaitra Is The First Month Of Hindu Lunar Calendar And Because Of It This Navratri Is Known As Chaitra Navratri. Chaitra Navratri Is Also Known As Vasanta Navratri. Rama Navami, The Birthday Of Lord Rama Usually Falls On The Ninth Day During Navratri Festivity. Hence Chaitra Navratri Is Also Known As Rama Navratri. All Nine Days During Navratri Are Dedicated To Nine Forms Of Goddess Shakti. Most Customs And Rituals Followed During Shardiya Navratri, Which Falls In The Month Of September Or October, Are Also Followed During Chaitra Navratri. Ghatasthapana Puja Vidhi For Shardiya Navratri And Chaitra Navratri Is Same.

Rama Navami

Lord Rama Was Born On Navami Tithi During Shukla Paksha Of Chaitra Month. Each Year This Day Is Celebrated As Birthday Of Lord Rama. Lord Rama Was Born During Madhyahna Period Which Is Middle Of Hindu Day. Madhyahna Which Prevails For Six Ghatis (Approximately 2 Hours And 24 Minutes) Is The Most Auspicious Time To Perform Rama Navami Puja Rituals. The Mid-Point Of Madhyahna Marks The Moment When Shri Rama Was Born And Temples Symbolize This Moment As Birth Moment Of Lord Rama. The Chanting Of Shri Rama And Celebration Reaches Its Peak During This Time.

GudiPadwa

Gudi Padwa Or Samvatsar PadvoIs Celebrated As The First Day Of The Year By Maharashtrians And Konkanis. On This Day New Samvatsara, Which Is Cycle Of Sixty Years, Starts. All Sixty Samvatsara Are Identified By Unique Name. Gudi Padwa Is Celebrated As UgadiBy The People Of Karnataka And Andhra Pradesh. Both Gudi Padwa And UgadiAre Celebrated On The Same Day. Gudi Padwa Is Marathi New Year According To Luni-Solar Calendar. Luni-Solar Calendars Consider The Position Of The Moon And The Position Of The Sun To Divide The Year Into Months And Days. The Counter-Part Of Luni-Solar Calendar Is Solar Calendar Which Considers Only Position Of The Sun To Divide The Year Into Months And Days. Because Of That Hindu New Year Is Celebrated Twice In The Year With Different Names And At Two Different Times Of The Year. The Hindu New Year Based On Solar Calendar Is Known As PuthanduIn Tamil Nadu, Bihu In Assam, Vaisakhi In Punjab, Pana Sankranti In Orissa And Naba Barsha In West Bengal.

Ugadi

Ugadi Or Yugadi Is Celebrated As The First Day Of The Year By People Of Andhra Pradesh And Karnataka. On This Day New Samvatsara, Which Is Cycle Of Sixty Years, Starts. All Sixty Samvatsara Are Identified By Unique Name. Ugadi Is Celebrated As Gudi Padwa By The People Of Maharashtra. Both Ugadi And Gudi Padwa Are Celebrated On The Same Day. UgadiIs New Year According To Luni-Solar Calendar. Luni-Solar Calendars Consider The Position Of The Moon And The Position Of The Sun To Divide The Year Into Months And Days. The Counter-Part Of Luni-Solar Calendar Is Solar Calendar Which Considers Only Position Of The Sun To Divide The Year Into Months And Days. Because Of That Hindu New Year Is Celebrated Twice In The Year With Different Names And At Two Different Times Of The Year. The Hindu New Year Based On Solar Calendar Is Known As Puthandu In Tamil Nadu, Bihu In Assam, Vaisakhi In Punjab, Pana Sankranti In Orissa And Naba Barsha In West Bengal.

Hanuman Jayanti

Hanuman Jayanti Is Celebrated On Full Moon Day During Chaitra Month. Hanuman, Who Is Also Known As Vanara God, Was Born On This Day And Hanuman Jayanti Is Celebrated To Commemorate The Birth Of Hanuman. Devotees Observe Hanuman Jayanti During Different Time Of The Year According To Their Regional Beliefs And The Type Of Calendar Being Followed. Hanuman Jayanti During Chaitra Purnima Is The Most Popular One In North Indian States.

Vat PurnimaVrat

Vat Purnima Vrat Is Similar To Vat Savitri Vrat. Married Women Observe Vat Purnima VratFor Well-Being And Long Life Of Their Husband. Most Of The Festivals In Amanta And Purnimanta Lunar Calendar Fall On The Same Day. Purnimanta Calendar Is Followed In North Indian States, Mainly In Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab And Haryana. In Rest Of The States Usually AmantaLunar Calendar Is Followed. However Vat Savitri VratCould Be Considered As An Exception. In Purnimanta Calendar Vat Savitri VratIs Observed During Jyeshtha Amavasya Which Coincides With Shani Jayanti. In Amanta Calendar Vat Savitri Vrat, Which Is Also Called As Vat Purnima Vrat, Is Observed During Jyeshtha Purnima.

Guru Purnima

Full Moon Day During AshadhaMonth Is Known As Guru Purnima Day. Traditionally This Day Is Reserved For Guru Puja Or Guru Worship. On This Day Disciples Offer Puja Or Pay Respect To Their Gurus. Guru Refers To Spiritual Guide Who Enlighten Disciples By His Knowledge And Teachings.

Raksha Bhandan

Raksha Bandhan Is Celebrated In Shravana Month During Full Moon Day Or Purnima Day. Rakhi Is A Special Occasion To Celebrate The Chaste Bond Of Love Between A Brother And A Sister.

Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami Is The Hindu Festival Celebrating The Birth Of Krishna.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi Is Celebrated As Birth Anniversary Of Lord Ganesh. On Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganesh Is Worshipped As The God Of Wisdom, Prosperity And Good Fortune. It Is Believed That Lord Ganesh Was Born During Shukla Paksha Of Bhadrapada Month. Currently Ganesh Chaturthi Day Falls In Month Of August Or September In English Calendar. The Ganeshotsav, The Festivity Of Ganesh Chaturthi, Ends After 10 Days On Anant Chaturdashi Which Is Also Known As Ganesh Visarjan Day. On Anant Chaturdashi, Devotees Immerse Idol Of Lord Ganesh In Water Body After A Gala Street Procession.

Sharadh Navratri

Sharadh Navratri Is The Most Popular And Significant Navratri Of All Navratris. That’s Why Shardiya Navratri Is Also Known As Maha Navratri. It Falls In Lunar Month Ashwin During Sharad Ritu. The Name Shardiya Navratri Has Been Taken From Sharad Ritu. All Nine Days During Navratri Are Dedicated To Nine Forms Of Goddess Shakti. Shardiya Navratri Falls In The Month Of September Or October. The Nine Days Festivity Culminates On Tenth Day With Dussehra Or Vijaya Dashami.

Vijayadashami/Dusshera

Vijayadashami Is Celebrated As Victory Of Lord Rama Over Demon RavanaAnd Also Triumph Of Goddess Durga Over The Buffalo Demon Mahishasura. Vijayadashami Is Also Known As Dussehra Or Dasara. In Nepal Dasara Is Celebrated As Dashain.

Diwali

Diwali Which Is Also Known As Deepawali Is The Most Famous Festival Of The Year. Diwali Is The Five Days Festivity Period Which Begins On Dhanteras And Ends On BhaiyaDooj. However, In Maharashtra Diwali Festivities Begin One Day Earlier On Govatsa Dwadashi While In Gujarat Diwali Festivities Begin Two Days Earlier On Agyaras And Culminates On Labh Panchami.

Bhai Dooj

On Bhaiya Dooj, Sisters Pray For Their Brothers To Have Long And Happy Lives By Performing Tika Ceremony And Brothers Offer Gifts To Their Sisters. Bhaiy aDooj Is Also Known As Bhau Beej And Bhathru Dwithiya.

Kartik Purnima

Kartik Is The Eighth Lunar Month In Hindu Calendar. The Full Moon Day During The Month Of Kartik Is Known As Kartik Purnima. Depending On People And The Region, The Full Moon Day In Hindu Calendar Is Also Referred As Poornima, Poonam, PournamiAnd Pournimasi. In Vaishnava Tradition Kartik Month Is Known As Damodara Month. Damodara Is One Of The Names Of Lord Krishna. In Hindu Calendar, Kartik Is The Holiest Month Among All Lunar Months. Many People Take Pledge To Take Holy Dip Before Sunrise In Ganges And Other Holy Rivers Every Day During The Month Of Kartik. The Ritual Of Holy Dip During Kartik Month Begins On The Day Of Sharad Purnima And Ends On Kartik Purnima.

Chhath

Chhath Is An Ancient Hindu Vedic Festival Dedicated To The Hindu Sun God, Surya And Chhathi Maiya. The Chhath Puja Is Performed In Order To Thank Surya For Sustaining Life On Earth And To Request The Granting Of Certain Wishes.

Karthikai Deepam

Karthikai Deepam Or Karthikai Vilakkidu Is A Hindu And Tamil, Festival Of Lights. The Festival Is Observed In Most Hindu Homes And Every Temple, And Falls In The Month Of Kārttikai As Per Tamil Calendar.

AkshayaTirtya / Pashuram Jayanti

Akshaya Tritiya Which Is Also Known As Akha TeejIs Highly Auspicious And Holy Day For Hindu Communities. It Falls During Shukla Paksha Tritiya In The Month Of Vaishakha. Akshaya Tritiya Falling On A Rohini Nakshatra Day With Wednesday Is Considered Very Auspicious. The Word Akshaya (अक्षय) Means Never Diminishing. Hence The Benefits Of Doing Any Japa, Yajna, Pitra-Tarpan, Dan-Punya On This Day Never Diminish And Remain With The Person Forever. Akshaya Tritiya Is Believed To Bring Good Luck And Success. Most People Purchase Gold On This Day As It Is Believed That Buying Gold On Akshaya Tritiya Brings Prosperity And More Wealth In Coming Future. Being Akshaya Day It Is Believed That Gold, Bought On This Day, Will Never Diminish And Would Continue To Grow Or Appreciate.

Ganga Dussehra

Ganga Dussehra Is Dedicated To Goddess Ganga And This Day Is Commemorated As The Day When Ganga Was Descended To The Earth To Accomplish Her Mission To Purge The Cursed Souls Of Bhagiratha’s Ancestors. Before Coming To The Earth, The Goddess Ganga Was Residing In Kamandal Of Lord Brahma And Along With Her The Goddess Ganga Brought The Purity Of Heaven To The Earth. On Ganga Dussehra Devotees Worship Goddess Ganga And Take Bath In Ganges. Taking Bath In Ganges And Offering Charity Or Dan-Punya (दान-पुण्य) On Ganga Dussehra Day Is Considered Highly Auspicious. It Is Believed That Holy Dip In Ganges On Ganga Dussehra Day Can Purge All Type Of Sins.

Devshayani Ekadashi

Ashadha Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Is Known As Devshayani Ekadashi. Lord Vishnu Goes To Sleep On This Day And Wakes Up After Four Months On Prabodhini Ekadashi. Devshayani Ekadashi Comes Just After Famous Jagannath RathyatraAnd Currently Falls In Month Of June Or July On English Calendar. Chaturmas, A Holy Period Of Four Months In Hindu Calendar, Starts From This Day. Devshayani Ekadashi Is Also Known As Padma Ekadashi, Ashadi Ekadashi And Hari Shayani Ekadashi.

Shravan Somvar

In Hindu Calendar Shravan Month Is Dedicated To Lord Shiva. Whole Month Is Considered Auspicious To Seek Blessing Of Lord Shiva. Devotees Keep Various Fasts During Shravan Month To Please Lord Shiva. Shravan Month Is Also Known As Sawan Month In North Indian States. All Mondays Or Somwar(S) Which Fall During Shravan Month Are Considered Highly Auspicious For Fasting And Known As Shravan Somwar Or Sawan Somwar Vrats. Many Devotees Observe Sixteen Mondays Or Solah Somwar Fasting From First Somwar Of Sawan Month.

HartalikaTeej

Hartalika Teej Vrat Is Observed During Shukla Paksha Tritiya Of Bhadrapada Month. On This Day, Makeshift Statues Of Lord Shiva And Goddess Parvati Are Made With The Sand And Worshipped For Marital Bliss And Progeny. Hartalika Teej Is Known By This Name Due To The Legend Associated With It. Hartalika Word Is Combination Of “Harat” And “Aalika” Which Means “Abduction” And “Female Friend” Respectively. According To The Legend Of Hartalika Teej, The Friend Of Goddess Parvati Took Her To The Thick Forest So That Her Father Can’t Marry Her To Lord Vishnu Against Her Wish.

Anant Chaturdashi

Anant Chaturdashi Is The Most Significant Day To Worship Lord Vishnu In Anant Form. On This Day Devotees Of Lord Vishnu Observe A Day Long Fast And Tie Sacred Thread During Puja.

PitruPaksh

Pitru Paksha Is A 15 Lunar Day’s Period When Hindus Pay Homage To Their Ancestors, Especially Through Food Offerings. According To North Indian Purnimant Calendar This Period Falls In The Lunar Month Of Ashwin Beginning With The Full Moon Day In Bhadrapada Or Next Day Of Full Moon Day.

Sarva Pitra Visarjan Amavasya

Durga Ashtami

Mahashtami, Also Known As MahaDurgashtami, Is Second Day Of Durga Puja. Maha Ashtami Is One Of The Most Important Days Of Durga Puja. Durga Puja On Maha Ashtami Begins With MahasnanAnd Shodashopachar Puja (षोडशोपचारपूजा) Which Is Very Much Similar To Maha Saptami Puja Except Prana Pratishtha(प्राणप्रतिष्ठा) Which Is Done Only Once On Maha Saptami. On Maha Ashtami Nine Small Pots Are Installed And Nine Shaktis Of Durga Are Invoked In Them. All Nine Forms Of Goddess Durga Are Worshipped During Maha Ashtami Puja.

Karva Chauth

Karwa Chauth Fasting Is Done During Krishna Paksha Chaturthi In The Hindu Month Of Kartik And According To Amanta Calendar Followed In Gujarat, Maharashtra And Southern India It Is Ashwin Month Which Is Current During Karwa Chauth. However, It Is Just The Name Of The Month Which Differs And In All States Karwa ChauthIs Observed On The Same Day. Karwa Chauth Coincides With Sankashti Chaturthi A Fasting Day Observed For Lord Ganesha. The Fasting Of Karwa Chauth And Its Rituals Are Observed By Married Women For The Long Life Of Their Husband. Married Women Worship Lord Shiva And His Family Including Lord Ganesha And Break The Fast Only After Sighting And Making The Offerings To The Moon. The Fasting Of Karwa Chauth Is Strict And Observed Without Taking Any Food Or Even A Drop Of Water After Sunrise Till The Sighting Of The Moon In The Night.

Ahoi Ashtami

On Ahoi Ashtami Mothers Hold A Fast From Dawn To Dusk For The Well-Being Of Their Sons. Fast Is Broken During Twilight After Sighting Stars In The Sky. (Some Women Break The Fast After Sighting The Moon But It Might Be Difficult To Follow As The Moon Rises Late In The Night On Ahoi Ashtami.) Ahoi Ashtami Fasting Day Falls Approximately Eight Days Before Diwali Puja And Four Days After Karwa Chauth. Similar To Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami Is More Popular In North India. This Day Is Also Known As Ahoi Aathe Because Fasting For Ahoi Ashtami Is Done During Ashtami Tithi Which Is The Eighth Day Of The Month. Similar To Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami Is A Strict Fasting Day And Most Women Abstain Even From Water Throughout The Day. The Fast Is Broken Only After Sighting The Stars.

Dhanteras

Dhantrayodashi Which Is Also Known As Dhanteras Is The First Day Of Five Days Long Diwali Festivities. On The Day Of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi Came Out Of The Ocean During The Churning Of The Milky Sea. Hence, Goddess Lakshmi, Along With Lord KuberaWho Is The God Of Wealth, Is Worshipped On The Auspicious Day Of Trayodashi. However, Lakshmi Puja On Amavasya After Two Days Of Dhantrayodashi Is Considered More Significant. Lakshmi Puja On Dhanteras Or Dhantrayodashi Should Be Done During Pradosh Kaal Which Starts After Sunset And Approximately Lasts For 2 Hours And 24 Minutes.

Govardhan / Annakut Pooja

Most Of The Time Govardhan Puja Day Falls Next Day After Diwali Puja And It Is Celebrated As The Day When Lord Krishna Defeated God Indra. Sometimes There Might Be One Day Gap Between Diwali And Govardhan Puja. In Religious Texts, Govardhan Puja Celebrations Are Suggested During Pratipada Tithi Of Kartik Month. Depending On Starting Time Of Pratipada, Govardhan Puja Day Might Fall One Day Before On Amavasya Day On Hindu Calendar. Gowardhan Puja Is Also Known As Annakut Puja. On This Day Food Made Of Cereals Like Wheat, Rice, Curry Made Of Gram Flour And Leafy Vegetables Is Cooked And Offered To Lord Krishna.

Devprabodhini Ekadashi

Devprabodhini Ekadashi Is Also Known As Dev Uthani Ekadashi And Devutthana Ekadashi. Parana Means Breaking The Fast. Ekadashi Parana Is Done After Sunrise On Next Day Of Ekadashi Fast. It Is Necessary To Do Parana Within Dwadashi Tithi Unless Dwadashi Is Over Before Sunrise. Not Doing Parana Within Dwadashi Is Similar To An Offence. Parana Should Not Be Done During Hari Vasara. One Should Wait For Hari Vasara To Get Over Before Breaking The Fast. Hari Vasara Is First One Fourth Duration Of Dwadashi Tithi. The Most Preferred Time To Break The Fast Is Pratahkal. One Should Avoid Breaking The Fast During Madhyahna. If Due To Some Reasons One Is Not Able To Break The Fast During Pratahkal Then One Should Do It After Madhyahna.

Amavasya

Amavasya Is New Moon Day In Hindu Calendar. It Is Significant Day As Many Rituals Are Performed Only On Amavasya Tithi. Amavasya Falling On Weekday Monday Is Known As Somvati Amavasya And Amavasya Falling On Weekday Saturday Is Known As Shani Amavasya. All Amavasya Days Are Appropriate To Perform Shraddha Rituals To Appease Ancestors. Amavasya Day Is Also Appropriate Day To Perform Kalasarpa Dosha Puja.

Purnima

Pournami Vratam And Shri Satyanarayana Puja, Which Are Observed On Full Moon Day, Might Be Observed One Day Before Of Purnima Tithi.

Sankranti

The Day Of Sankranti Is Dedicated To Lord Surya (I.E. Sun God) And This Day Is Considered Significant To Worship Surya Deva. Although There Are Twelve Sankranti In Hindu Calendar But Makar Sankranti Is The Most Significant Among All Sankranti(S) Due To Its Religious Significance. Due To The Popularity Of Makar Sankranti, Most Of The Time People Call It Just Sankranti.

Ekadashi

Ekadashi Fasting Is Observed On Every 11th Tithi In Hindu Calendar. There Are Two Ekadashi Fasting In A Month, One During Shukla Paksha And Another During Krishna Paksha. Devotees Of Lord Vishnu Observe Ekadashi Fasting To Seek His Blessings.

Pradosh Vrat

Pradosh Vrat, Which Is Also Known As Pradosham In South India, Is Observed To Seek Blessings Of Lord Shiva. When Pradosham Day Falls On Monday It Is Called Soma Pradosham, On Tuesday It Is Called Bhauma Pradosham And On Saturday It Is Called As Shani Pradosham.

Maas Shivaratri

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