Author: Abhishek Singh

Chhath Puja

“Chhath Puja” is a major Hindu festival celebrated in Indian subcontinent, most significantly in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The festival is also popularly known as “Dala Chhath, where “dala” signifies a basket usually made of bamboo. The festival is also celebrated in other Indian states which have migratory population from the said states. It is also reverently celebrated in the central regions of Nepal called “Madhyadesh” in local dialects. Chhath Puja holds the distinction of being one and only Hindu festival which doesn’t involve idol worship. The festival mainly involves reverence of Sun God and his sister Chhathi Maiya, who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva. The rituals of Chhath Puja are observed over a span of four days and are the most rigorous of any other Hindu festival. Every ritual and custom should be strictly followed without any excuses, in order to evoke the blessings of Sun God and Chhathi Maiya. Chhath Puja 2019 The Chhath Puja in 2019 commences on Thursday, October 31st and continued till Sunday, November 3rd. The ritual of “Nahaye Khaye” will be observed on October 31st; “Kharna” on 1st November; “Sandhya Arghya” or “Pehla (first) Arghya” on 2nd November and “Doosra (second) Arghya” on 3rd November. When is Chhath Puja Celebrated? Chhath Puja is performed in the Kartik month, as per the historical Hindu...

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Dussehra (Vijayadashmi) Festival

Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is a popular Hindu festival of India celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin. It also marks the end of Navratri festival. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated throughout India by many cultures with ritualistic variations. It also sets the stage for one of the Hindu’s most significant festival – Deepawali or Diwali, which is celebrated 20 days after Vijayadashmi. Dussehra festival is celebrated with reverence to two of the most significant Hindu deities – Goddess Durga and Lord Rama. Some cultures venerate different incarnations of Goddess Durga like – Saraswati, Lakshmi etc, as per their faith and belief. Nevertheless, the festival is largely celebrated as symbolic to the victory of good over evil. Dussehra 2019 Vijayadashmi festival in 2019 will be celebrated on Tuesday, 8th October 2019. Rituals like Shami puja and Aparajita puja should be performed during the Aparahna time – 13:24 Hrs to 15:44 Hrs on 8th October 2019. Meaning of Dussehra/Vijayadashmi Some religious specialists believe that the word Dussehra is obtained by joining two Sanskrit words – “Dus” and “Ahara”. Former means 10th and the latter – day. Therefore “Dussehra” implies 10th day or the 10th day of victory.  Another theory about the derivation of name “Dussehra” is that it is formed by combining “Dush” and “Har”; former meaning evil and the latter means to...

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Navaratri Festival

“Navaratri” is a Sanskrit term, literally meaning – nine nights. It is a Hindu festival celebrated for 9 nights and ten days to with reverence to Hindu Goddess Durga, and commonly called “Durga Puja”.  Falling near the autumn equinox (September-October) it is one of the most celebrated Navratri festivals and is also called “Sharad Navaratri” or “Maha Navratri”. Navratri is celebrated throughout the Indian subcontinent, though different cultures celebrate it differently. The festival celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura; concluding on the day of Dussehra festivities. Navaratri 2019 “Sharad Navratri 2019” begins on Sunday, 29th September 2019 and concludes with Durga Visarjan (idol immersion) on the day of Vijayadashmi (Dussehra) on Tuesday, 8th October 2019. When is Sharad Navaratri Celebrated There are four seasonal Navratris celebrated as per the Hindu calendar in the months of Chaitra (March-April), Aashadh (June-July), Ashwin (September-October) and Magha (January-February). The most significant Navratri is Sharad Navratri, falling in the Lunar month of Ashwin. It is called Sharad Navratri as it falls in Sharad Ritu (Fall season). The first day of Sharad Navratri is called Pratipada and its last day corresponds with the Dussehra festival. The second most celebrated Navratri is Chaitra Navratri, falling in the month of Chaitra (Mar-Apr). Like many other Hindu festival Navratri is also closely related to the position of Sun, Moon and stars. The time...

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Pitra Paksha

“Pitra Paksha” is a 16 lunar day period in Hindu calendar when Hindu’s invoke the blessings of their ancestors, by offering food and performing rituals.“Pitra” is a Sanskrit word referring to the ancestors and “Paksha” is also a Sanskrit word referring to a fortnight or a lunar phase. Hence “Pitra Paksha” means a fortnight for the ancestors. “Pitra Paksha” is conducted to please the ancestors and seek their blessings. It is also considered inauspicious by Hindus, because of the death rites performed during the period, which is known as Shraddha or tarpan. There is a custom to offer food (known as tarpan) to the departed ancestors in order to please them. Hindus believe that during the “Pitra Paksha” their ancestors descend from the Pitrulok (world of departed souls) to accept their offerings and to bless them with happiness, prosperity and an unbroken family lineage. Pitra Paksha 2019 “Pitra Paksha” starts on the day of Purnima (full Moon), also known as Purnima Shraddha and concludes sixteen days later on the day of Amavasya (Dark Moon), known as “Sarvapitri Amavasya”. “Pitra Paksha 2019” will begin with “Shraddha Purnima” on Friday, 13th September 2019 and will conclude with “Sarvapitri Amavasya” on Saturday, 28th September 2019. When is Pitra Paksha Scheduled/Shraddha Performed Pitra Paksha falls in the second fortnight (paksha) of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada, corresponding to the September month in...

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Ram Barat

“Ram Barat” is celebrated in Northern India and especially in Agra, as part of the Ramleela celebrations. It is an annual event and is reverently observed in northern India. “Barat” is a Hindi word which means “marriage procession”. Hence, “Ram Barat” means – the marriage procession of Sri Ram. “Ram Barat” is a reenactment of Shri Ram’s marriage procession to his marriage with Goddess Sita and her vidai (farewell) thereafter. It is a grand celebration, the festivities of which are better experienced than described in words. During the three days of the observance of “Ram Barat” millions of tourists from nearby states head towards Agra to witness the grand marriage procession of their beloved Lord Rama. Ram Barat 2019 “Ram Barat 2019” will be celebrated, beginning on Tuesday, 17th September 2019 and concluding on Thursday, 19th September 2019, at the historical city of Agra in North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. History of Ram Barat The history of celebrating Ram Barat at Agra dates back to nearly 125 years. The festival was initiated by Lala Kokanmal, one of the wealthiest businessmen of Agra. He started a three day long celebration, revolving around the marriage of Lord Rama with Sita. The successive generations of Lala Kokamal have been supervising the events of Ramleela and Ram Barat as well. Now, his great grandson looks over the celebrations and is actively involved...

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