Saawan or in Sanskrit “Śrāvaṇa” is the month of the Hindu calendar during which time the sky opens up. Saawan begins on the new moon and is the fifth month of the year. it is considered as very holy month for Hindus because this is the time for some of the most important festivals in India. During the time of Saawan the Birth of Lord Krishna or KrishnaJanmashtami is celebrated along with the sacred Raksha Bhandhan, where the brothers pledge their undying support to their sisters. It is a very emotional day for many because if a brother and sister have not seen each other in a while, this day is chosen as it is very auspicious to meet and renew the oath or the eternal bond between brothers and sisters.
The month of Saawan has different meaning for Hindus from all over the country and is celebrated in many different ways. In the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat Shraavana Poornima (full moon) day is celebrated as Narali Purnima and Narali means coconut. On this day, an offering of a coconut is made to the sea god lord Varuna, as a mark of respect. In other parts Narali Purnima is the start of fishing season and the fishermen, who depend upon their livelihood from the sea for a living, make offering to Lord Varuna for a prosperous season of fishing. Nag Panchami is celebrated during this time of this time of the year as people make offering to the snake god Naga.
In South India it is time of Upākarma particularly Brahmins were change their upanayana thread accompanied by relevant conservative rituals, making śrāddha offerings to the rishis, whom Hindus think composed and wrote the Vedic hymns. Also in Kerala it is the time of the great festival of Onam and the famous and popular boat race.
But enough of rituals the main reason why this month is very special for Hindus is very simple. Rain brings life for the farmers and the harvest and it is also time for fasting and giving up of meat as form of purging your body for inner cleaning. Also other possible reasoning for disavowing meat is that during the time of monsoon the possibility of eating damaged meat is very high. Plus lots of Hindus are traditionally vegetarians.
The month of Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calender beginning from Chaitra, and is considered the most propitious month of the Chaturmas. On the day of Purnima or as it is called a fullmoon day, or during the course of the month the star ‘Shravan’ rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan. This month is has many religious festivals and ceremonies like Nag Panchami, Sati Pooja and Hariyali Teej and almost all the days of this month are auspicious.
Also Shravan is considered the holiest month of the year for Hindus. Each Monday during this month, known as Shravana Somvar, is a auspicious day in temples where the Dharanatra hangs over the ling or the idol to bathe it with holy water, all day and all night. Devotees stack the ling high with Bael leaves and flowers and fast till sunset.
Also the month of Saawan is considered holy because it was during this time the churning of oceans “Samudra Manthan” between Dev (Demi-Gods) and Danav (Demons) took place in the month of Shravan. Lord Shiva is is paid special homage because after the churning of the ocean came the eternal life giving “Amrit” came out of the sea along with the poison “Halahal” which Lord Shiva drank to save everyone and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva.
To reduce the strong effect of poison, Lord Shiva placed the crescent moon over his head. All the Devs (Demi-Gods) thereafter started offering the Ganges water to Lord Shiva to reduce the effect of poison.
Also thousands of people go on this holy pilgrimage of Kanwar Yatra were people walk for hundreds of kilometers mostly from Haridwar and some people walk from as far as Gaumukh and Gangotri to fetch holy waters of Ganges River, to be offered at their local Shiva temples. This sacred journey Also takes takes place during the sacred month of Saawan. So during the month of Shravan, Hindus offer the Ganges water to Lord Shiv especially during the month of Saawan.
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