FASTS, FEASTS AND FESTIVALS
Hinduism dates back to thousands of years and is known as the greatest and most advanced civilization that has existed on this planet. It is a religion full of fasts, feasts and festivals that bring out the colour and glory of this ancient culture. There is a festival to welcome and end each season from the sowing of seeds to harvesting, to celebrating the arrival of the rain and even to give thanks to mother earth for her bounty or to praise the sun for ripening the crops...

Colour - Holy is the festival of colour.

Love for brother and sister - Raksha Bandhan is an expression of the love that a sister has for her brother.

Festival of Rain – Vasanth Panchmi is the festival of rain.

Harvest Festival - Pongal – Is the harvest festival.

Remembering our ancestors - Pitar Paksha – 15 Days observed to remember the ancestors and pray for the onward journeys of their souls.

Rain - Indar Pooja – The prayer for rain

The earth - Bhumi Pooja – Thanks to mother earth for providing us with food, clothing and shelter

The Sun - Surya – To offer water to the Sun for good health and abundance.


FASTS:

All fasts, feasts and festivals are calculated astrologically and have deep relevance in terms of the planetary combination and the influence they have upon the earth and every living entity that live on the planet. The following provides one with a brief idea of when these festivals are observed.

HOLIKA DAHAN – On the 4th day in the month of Falgun.

HOLI – On the 5th day of the month of Falgun.

KRISHNA JANAMASTAMEE – Eight days of worship and praise to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna. Observed on the eight day in the month of Bhadrapada during the dark phase of the moon.

NAVARATHRI – Nine days of fast and prayer is observed to achieve the blessings of the Divine mother Durga who is the administrator of our Karma. The aspirant prays to the mother to assist him to tolerate his Karma and aid him to perform. Observed in the month of Ashwin and commences during the Pratipad in the bright phase of the moon and ends in the month of Ashwin on the Navmi day. This is followed by Dashera or Vijay Dashmi which is observed on the Dashmi Day.

RAM NAUMI – On the Ninth day in the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra.

VIJAY DASHMI – On the tenth day after Navarathri worship is offered to Mother Durga for her assistance in guiding an individual to be victorious over anger, lust, greed , hatred and jealousy.

DIWALI - On the tenth day of the dark phase (Amavas) of the moon in the month of Kartik.

EKADASHI – Celebrated and observed on the eleventh day of the waning and waxing of the moon to pray to the Lord for His mercy and blessings.

MAHA SHIVARATHRI – Observed on the 14th Day of the Dark Fortnight.

PURNIMA – Full moon day is observed as a day of fast and prayer

GURU PURNIMA – Observed on the full moon day in the month of Ashad.

RAKSHA BANDHAN – Observed on the full moon day in the month of Shravan.

NAAG PANCHAMI – Observed in the month of Shravan on the fifth day during the bright half of the month.

Content by:Pundit Roshan Singh