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Hindu Months: A Calendar of Festivals and Celebrations

The Hindu calendar, also known as the Panchang, is based on the lunar cycle and consists of twelve months, each of which is named after a particular constellation. The Hindu months are considered to be auspicious for various rituals, festivals, and ceremonies.

The Hindu calendar is a complex and rich system that follows the cycles of the moon. It is a lunisolar calendar, meaning that it uses both lunar and solar cycles to calculate the passage of time. The Hindu calendar is divided into twelve months, each of which is named after a particular constellation or zodiac sign.

Chaitra (March-April): Chaitra is the first month of the Hindu calendar and is considered to be very auspicious. The month begins with the celebration of the Hindu New Year, which is called Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and Chaitra Navratri in other parts of India, and this year Chaitra Navratri is starting from March 22, 2023. The month also marks the beginning of the spring season and is associated with new beginnings, growth, and prosperity.

Vaishakha (April-May): Vaishakha is the second month of the Hindu calendar and is considered to be the most important month for Hindus. It is associated with the celebration of the birth of Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Narasimha, as well as the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. The month is also associated with Akshaya Tritiya, a day considered to be auspicious for starting new ventures and investments.

Jyeshtha (May-June): Jyeshtha is the third month of the Hindu calendar and is associated with the arrival of the monsoon season. The month is considered to be auspicious for performing various rituals and ceremonies, including weddings and housewarming ceremonies. It is also associated with the celebration of Vat Savitri Vrat, a festival that honors the eternal love and devotion of Savitri for her husband Satyavan.

Ashadha (June-July): Ashadha is the fourth month of the Hindu calendar and is associated with the onset of the monsoon season. The month is considered to be auspicious for performing various rituals and ceremonies, including the worship of Lord Shiva. The month is also associated with the celebration of Guru Purnima, a festival that honors the spiritual gurus who guide and enlighten us.

Shravana (July-August): Shravana is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar and is considered to be very auspicious. The month is associated with the worship of Lord Shiva and is marked by the celebration of Shravan Somvar, a festival that involves fasting and offering prayers to Lord Shiva on Mondays. The month is also associated with the celebration of Raksha Bandhan, a festival that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.

Bhadrapada (August-September): Bhadrapada is the sixth month of the Hindu calendar and is associated with the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival that honors the birth of Lord Ganesha, the god of wisdom and prosperity. The month is also associated with the celebration of Onam, a festival that is celebrated in Kerala and honors the mythical king Mahabali.

Ashwin (September-October): Ashwin is the seventh month of the Hindu calendar and is associated with the celebration of Navratri, a festival that honors the divine feminine energy. The month is also associated with the celebration of Dussehra, a festival that commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.

Kartik (October-November): Kartik is the eighth month of the Hindu calendar and is associated with the celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. The month is also associated with the celebration of Karva Chauth, a festival that celebrates the bond between husbands and wives.

Margashirsha (November-December): Margashirsha is the ninth month of the Hindu calendar, which typically falls in November-December according to the Gregorian calendar. It is considered one of the most auspicious months in the Hindu calendar and is associated with the worship of Lord Vishnu and his various incarnations, particularly Lord Krishna.

Pausha (December-January): Pausha is the tenth month of the Hindu calendar and falls in December-January according to the Gregorian calendar. It is considered a very significant month for performing religious rituals and taking holy dips in rivers and lakes. The full moon day in Pausha, known as Paush Purnima, is celebrated as a major festival in various parts of India. During this month, people also observe fasts and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu.

Magha (January-February): Magha is the eleventh month of the Hindu calendar and falls in January-February according to the Gregorian calendar. It is believed that Lord Vishnu appeared on the earth during this month, and therefore, it holds immense significance for the devotees of Lord Vishnu. The full moon day in Magha, known as Magha Purnima, is celebrated as the day when Buddha delivered his first sermon. In various parts of India (Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik etc), this month is celebrated with great fervor as the Magh Mela, which is held every year on the banks of the river Ganga.

Phalguna (February-March): Phalguna is the twelfth and final month of the Hindu calendar and falls in February-March according to the Gregorian calendar. It is the month of the much-celebrated festival of colors, Holi, which marks the beginning of the spring season in India. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm by people of all ages, where they play with colors, enjoy traditional sweets and delicacies, and offer prayers to Lord Krishna. Apart from Holi, Phalguna also hosts other important festivals such as Shivratri, Ram Navami, and Holika Dahan.

The Hindu calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and includes both lunar months and solar months. The lunar months are called “Purnimanta” (Purnima) and the solar months are called “Amanta.” The calendar is a complex system that includes many important festivals and auspicious days.

The Hindu calendar follows the lunisolar system, which means that it is based on the positions of the Sun and the Moon. The months in the Hindu calendar are divided into two types – Lunar months and Solar months. Lunar months are based on the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, while Solar months are based on the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

The Lunar months are known as “Purnimanta,” which means that they begin on the full moon day. The Solar months are known as “Amanta,” which means that they begin on the new moon day. Each lunar month is divided into two fortnights, known as Shukla Paksha & Krishna Paksha.

Each lunar month has a corresponding zodiac sign or Rashi, which is based on the position of the Moon at the time of the full moon day. These Rashis are important for astrology and are used to determine auspicious times for certain activities.

The Solar months are based on the 12 zodiac signs or Rashis, and are as follows: Mesh (Aries), Vrishabh (Taurus), Mithun (Gemini), Kark (Cancer), Simha (Leo), Kanya (Virgo), Tula (Libra), Vrishchik (Scorpio), Dhanu (Sagittarius), Makar (Capricorn), Kumbh (Aquarius), Meen (Pisces)

The Hindu calendar also includes intercalary months, which are added to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned. These months are called Adhik Maas, and are added approximately once every three years.

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