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NEW YEAR: In India the first day of the bright half of the month of Kaartak is the commencing day of Vikram Samvat. It is celebrated as the "NEW YEAR" or the "SETTING IN YEAR" (BESTAAVARSH). In the ancient time the Shaka race entered India for the cendial Asia, around the beginning of the Christian Era, and established their kingdom in Maalvaa. Vikramaditya became popular as Shakaari. Vikram Samvat commenced in 57 B.C. People meet together with affection on this new year's day. They forget past enmities and are wishing well to all. This is the day on which heap of various kinds of dishes (ANNAKUTA) is offered in various temples.

BHAAI-BIJ: The second day of the bright half of the month of Kaartak is the Bhaai-Bij. It is also known as "YAMA DWITIYA". According to the story of Skandapuraana Yamraaja had gone to his sister for dinner on this day. Yamraaja gave blessings to his sister that if a brother goes to his sister for dinner on this day, he will be relieved of all his sins. On this day every brother takes food at the sister's place and presents a qift to the sister. One can attain righteousness by taking a bath in the evening in the river Yamuna or any holy river.

LAABH PAANCHAM: The Fifth day of the bright half of the month of Kaartak is known as Laabh Paancham. This day is also famous as a time for doing auspicious works. If this day is chosen as a time for doing auspicious work and if trade and business is commenced, it prospers. This day is also known as Gnaanpanchami.

PRABODHINI EKAADASHI (DEVA UTHI EKAADASHI): The eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Kaartak is celebrated as PrabodhiniEkaadashi or Deva Uthi Ekaadashi. Bhagwaan Vishnu who is Iying on the Shesha in the milky ocean, (KSHIRA SAAGAR) is awakeninq. Tulsi Vivaaha begins.

CHAATURMAAS SAMAAPTI: The four months of the rainy season (CHAATURMAAS) are over. There is a special significance on this day for holy bath, deity worship and visits to temples.

DEVA DIWAALI (TULSI VIVAAHA): The Purnimaa day of the month of Kaartak is celebrated as Deva Diwaali. This Tulsi Vivaaha festival completes on this day. Deva Diwaali is celebrated on account of the holy events of Bhagwaan Vishnu having awakened from the bed of Shesha in the milky ocean (KSHIRA SAAGAR) and the celebration of the festival of Tulsi Vivaaha. From this day onwards all auspicious works begin.


GITAA JAYANTI: The eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Maagsar is celebrated throughout India as Gitaa Jayanti. The Mahaabhaarat war was fought in the field of Kurukshetra in the month of Maagsar. On this very day Bhagwaan Shree Krishna gave the knowledge of Gitaa to Arjuna so as to remove his dejection. Gitaa is the topmost document of the Indian civilization, which explains the uniformity of knowledge,devotion and action (GNAAN, BHAKTI AND KARMA).


MAKAR SANKRMNTI: (January 14th) On account of the event of the Sun entering the Capricorn (MAKAR) Zodiac (RASHI), this day is known as Makar Sankranti. Charities and virtuous deeds performed on this day bear fruits in multiplication. From this day starts the beginning of the progress of the sun towards the north i.e. towards the tropic of cancer. From this day onwards auspicious works begin.

PUTRDAA EKAADASHI: One can beget son if he observes penance, keeps a religious vow and gives charities on this eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Posh.

POSHI PUNAM: The Purnima of the month of Posh is celebrated as Poshi Punam. This is the festival of sacred love of brother and sister. The sister keeps a fast for the whole day and after obtaining the consent of brother takes food in the presence of the moon.

REPUBLIC DAY: (January 26) After India got freedom, its own constitution was framed which was implemented from 26th January 1950. This historical day is celebrated every year as a national festival.


DURGA ASHTAMEE: The eighth day of the bright half of the month of Maha is the Navraatra Ashtami of the month of Maha. There are four Navraatras observed during the year, and this is one of them.

MAHA SHIVARATRE: The fourteenth day of the dark half of the month of Maha is celebrated in the entire country as a famous festival of Maha Shivaraatree. For devotees of Lord Shiva it is the biggest and the most auspicious day.


HOLI: Purnima day of the Month of Faagan is celebrated throughout India as Hutaashani or Holi festival. The king Hiranyakashipu entrusted to his sister Holikaa the work of burning Prahlaad. Holikaa set in the burning fire with Prahlaad in her lap. But the fire could not burn Prahlaad. Holikaa was burnt. Holikaa Poojan is held in the evening after the sunset.

DHOOLETI: The first day of the dark half of the month of Faagan is celebrated as Dhooleti festival. Prahlaad the devotee of Lord Vishnu was protected and there was a victory for religion. To mark this, the festival of colour is celebrated on this day.

DURGAASHTAMEE: This is one of the four Navraatras celebrated during the year.


RAAMNAVMEE: Maryaadaa Purushottam Bhagwaan Raama, the son of Kaushalyaa and Dasharatha, manifested as an Avataar in this world, at midday on the ninth day of the bright half of the month of Chaitra. This day is celebrated throughout the country as Raamnavmi.

HANUMAAN JAYANTI: This great hero who sacrificed his entire life solely for the worship of Raama, is being worshiped as a great ideal of Bhakti and knowledge (GNAAN). According to the Puraanas, Hanumaan is considered to be having an immortal body. The Purnima day of the month Chaitra is celebrated in the whole country as Hanumaan Jayanti. At night groups of devoted persons are singing prayer songs. Hanumaan is one of the greatest characters of Raamaayanaa.


SHANKARAACHAARYA JAYANTI: Shankaraachaarya who was born at father Shivguru and mother Sati's place in Kaaldi; on the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Vaishaakh, is actually considered to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He presented to the world the great philosophy through the principles of pure monism. In India he established four seats in the four directions. Like 'SDAUNDARYA LAHARI' he composed many hymns of prayer.


BHIM EKAADASHI: Eleventh day of the bright half of Jeth is popular as the Bhim Ekaadashi or dry (NIRJALA) Ekaadashi. During their dwelling in the forest, Paandavas were observing the religious vow of Ekaadashi, but Bhima could not observe fast. Ved Vyaas therefore told Bhima. "If you observe waterless fast only for one day i.e. on the day of Bhim Ekaadashi falling on the eleventh day of the bright half of Jeth, you will gain the fruit of observing fast of all Akaadashis of the whole year. This day is therefore known as Bhim Ekaadashi. This is a great festival specially for the rural masses of India.

VAT SAAVITREE VRAT: Purnima day of bright half of Jeth is known as Vat Saavitree Vrat. The beginning of the Vat Saavitree Vrat is made from eleventh day of the bright half of Jeth. This festival is celebrated in the context of the Pauraanic story wherein Mahaasatee Saavitree regained her husband Satyavaan from Yama. Married women whose husbands are living, are worshipping the banyan tree on this day. On account of observation of this vow, the married women continue their joyous state of wifehood. On this very day intellectual Saint Kabir's Jayanti is also celebrated .


DEVPODHI EKAADASHI: Eleventh day of the bright half of Ashaadh is Devpodhi Ekaadashi. On this day God Vishnu retires in the milky ocean(KSHIR SAAGAR). The four months of the rainy season commence on this day. From this day onwards people observe fast and other religious rites, for four months.

GOURI VRAT: Begins from the eleventh day of the bright half of Ashaadh. Unmarried young girls grow tender shoots of corn at home in a small pot. The Gouri Vrat is completed on the Purnima day of Ashaadh. Unmarried girls worship the tender shoots of corn They also worship the Sun. On the Purnima day they perform cow Pooja. They bid farewell to Mother Gauree. Mother Goddess Paarvatee, when she was unmarried, had observed Gouri Vrat, hence she got God Shiva as her husband. Unmarried girls procure the best husband by observing this Vrat.

JAYAA PAARVATEE VRAT: The twelfth day of the bright half of Ashaadh is the day of Jayaapaarvatee Vrat. It is a tradition that one who observes this Vrat, continues to do so for at least five years. Umaa-Maheshwar Poojan is performed on this day. By observing Jayaapaarvatee Vrat one gets pleasure and peace in life. Women whose husbands are living get best progeny. Such is the boon gifted by Goddess Paarvatee.

GURU PURNIMAA: Purnimaa day of the month of Ashaadh is celebrated as Gurupurnimaa. Pupils perform Pooja of their teachers (Guru) on this day. They offer gift to the teacher (GURUDAKSHINAA) and get blessings of the teacher.


NAGPAANCHAM: The fifth day of the dark half of Shraavan is celebrated as Naagpaancham. A lamp containing ghee is placed in the house where drinking water-pots are kept, and Poojaa of serpent-God is performed.

RAANDHAN CHHATH: The sixth day of the dark half of Shraavan is celebrated as Raandhanchhath. With great enthusiasm women prepare fried sweetmeats for the Shitalaa Saatam coming on the next day and visit the temples.

SHITALAA SAATAM: The seventh day of the dark half of Shraavan is celebrated as Shitalaa Saatam. People visit Shitalaa Maataa Temple on this day and perform poojaa. They eat the food cooked on the previous day. This is a very big festival for the rural masses.

RAKSHAABANDHAN: The Purnima day of the month of Shraavan is known as Rakshaabandhan day, a big festival day. This is also known as Coconut Purnima. This is a great festival of the pure love of brothers and sisters. The sister is tying a protection thread and wishes well for the long life, happiness and prosperity of the brother. The Brahmins (TWICE BORN) put a new sacred thread on this day.

JANMA ASHTAME: The eighth day of the dark half of Shraavan is an important day of the manifestation of Bhagwaan Shree Krishna. This glorious day of the manifestation of the Yugaavataar Shree Krishna who was born in Mathuraa, at Vasudeva and Devki's place and who was brought up in Gokul at Nandbaabaa and Yashodaa's place, is celebrated in the entire country on a very large scale

INDEPENDENCE DAY: India became independent from the British Rule on the 15th day of August 1947. The entire country is celebrating this day also as a National festival on a very large scale with illumination and joy. Various programmes which are organised, develop the national feeling and devotion towards the nation.


GANESH CHOTH: The fourth day of the bright half of the month of Bhaadarvo is celebrated in the entire country and especially in Maharashtra. Ganesh the son of Goddess Umaa and God Shiva, is the Lord of prosperity and achievement. On this day people worship Ganesh with sacred grass, flowers of calotropis gigantee, and vermillion mixed with Ghee. Sweetballs are offered to Ganesh.

GAANDHEE JAYANTI: As second October is the birthday of Gaandheejee, this day is celebrated as Gaandhee Jayanti, throughout the nation. The whole nation pays a glorious tribute to Mahaatmaa Gaandheejee who brought independence for the country through truth and non-violence. On this very day also falls the birthday of Late Laal Bahaadur Shaastri, the beloved Late Prime Minister of India. His birth anniversary is also celebrated on this day.


BEGINNING OF GREATER NAVRATRI: The great Navraatra commences on the first day of the brighter half of the month of Aaso. Out of the four Navraatras during the year the Aaso Navraatra is specially celebrated. At night young girls perform Raas, Garbaa in Temples.

DURG AASHTAMI: Durgaashtami falls on the eighth day of the bright half of the month of Aaso. Out of the four Navraatras falling during the whole year, the Aaso Navraatra is specially celebrated on a large scale with great pleasure.

DASHERA: he tenth day of the bright half of Aaso is celebrated throughout the country as Dasheraa or Vijayaadashmee. On this day after performing ceremonial worship of SHAMEE tree, Raama had attacked Raavan. On this very day, Paandavaas after completing their secret forest dwelling had performed the ceremonial worship of SHAMEE tree. It is significant to perform ceremonial worship of SHAMEE tree on this day. The religious vow observed during the Navraatra completes on this day. At lunch time sweetmeats are served at every house. Sweetmeats are offered to Maataajee, and Poojan of the horse, ASHVA, God Shiva and the cow are also performed.

SHARAD PURNIMA: Purnimaa of the month of Aaso is the Sharad Punam. People celebrate this festival by taking prasaad of flattened rice with milk in the fully blossomed moonlight of the cloudless sky of autumn.

DHANTERAS: People celebrate with all pleasure the festival of Dhanteras falling on the thirteenth day of the dark half of the month of Aaso. Birth anniversary of Bhagwaan Dhanvantaree falls on this day. Mahaapoojaa of Maataajee and Pooja of Bhagwaan Dhanvantaree are performed and gift (DAKSHINAA) is offered to the Brahmins.

KAALI CHAUDASH: The fourteenth day of the dark half of the month of Aaso is known as Kaalee Chaudash or Roop Chaturdashi. Bhagwaan Vaaman has promised Baliraajaa that he will obtain prosperity who offer charities after lighting three lamps respectively on Dhanteras, Kaalee Chaudash and Dipaavalee. This day is also celebrated as Mahaakaalee festival. Lord Krishna had killed Narkaasur on this day and hence it is also called Narak Chaturdashi. Gift (DAKSHINAA) is offered to young Brahmachaaris and Brahmins.

DIWALEE: The last day of Vikram Samvat is the Amaavaasya day of the month of Aaso which is celebrated with zeal throughout India as Deepaavaalee or Diwalee. There are many Pauraanic stories about this day. Raama killed Raavana and returned to Ayodhyaa with Seetaa and was coronated on this day. Vaaman Bhagwaan released the Devas and Laxmi from the imprisonment of Baliraajaa on this very day. People perform Laxmi Pooja on this day. People celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm by display of fireworks. Rows of lamps are lighted in every house.

VIKRAM NEW YEAR (BESTA VARSH): The day after the Lakshmi Puja, most families in Gujarat celebrate the new year as Bestvarsha. This day is celebrated by dressing in new clothes, wearing jewelery and visiting family members and business colleagues to give them sweets, dry fruits and gifts. This day is more popular among the business communities as on this day the new business year begins. Besta varsa is also considered auspicious for shopping, inaugurations of new homes, business deals or for starting any new ventures and projects.

On the occasion of Bestavarsh, people usually do not cook food and eat the various delicacies such as Mathias prepared a day before. A unique ritual is performed by young boys who observe this day. Early in the morning, before sunrise, young boys in every household come out on streets and sell salt. The salt is called Sabras, meaning all good things in life. There is as such no commercial significance attached to this rituals, it is more of a thanksgiving to god for fulfilling their necessities and wishing the same for the coming year. It is auspicious to sell as well as buy salts before sunrise on day of Bestavarsh.