Ashvin, also known as Ashwin or Aśvina, is the seventh month of the Hindu lunar calendar, which typically falls between September and October in the Gregorian calendar. It is considered a significant month in Hindu religion and is associated with various festivals, rituals, and observances. Let’s explore some of the key aspects of Ashvin month:
Navratri: One of the most prominent festivals celebrated during Ashvin month is Navratri, meaning “nine nights.” It honors the divine feminine energy in the form of Goddess Durga and her various manifestations. Devotees engage in fasting, prayers, and cultural celebrations, particularly in the states of Gujarat, West Bengal, and other parts of India. The festival concludes with Dussehra or Vijayadashami, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.
Durga Puja: Durga Puja is a grand celebration observed primarily in West Bengal and other parts of Eastern India during the Ashvin month. Elaborate pandals (temporary structures) are erected, and beautifully adorned idols of Goddess Durga are worshipped for several days. Cultural performances, processions, and feasting are integral parts of this festival.
Ashwin Purnima: The full moon day of Ashvin month, known as Ashwin Purnima, holds significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed to be an auspicious day for performing religious rituals, offering prayers, and taking holy dips in rivers and sacred bodies of water. One of the notable events associated with Ashwin Purnima is the Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, where devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity.
Sharad Purnima: Also known as Kojagiri Purnima, Sharad Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of Ashvin month. Devotees observe fasts and worship Lord Krishna, seeking His blessings. The night of Sharad Purnima is considered special, as it is believed that the moon shines with all sixteen of its Kalas (rays), which are said to possess divine qualities.
Pitru Paksha: Ashvin month also hosts Pitru Paksha, a period dedicated to honoring and paying homage to ancestors. It spans for 16 days during the Ashvin Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) and is observed with rituals and offerings to remember and seek blessings for departed souls.
Bathukamma Festival: In the state of Telangana, Bathukamma is a vibrant floral festival celebrated during Ashvin month. Women create intricate flower arrangements in the form of a stack, called Bathukamma, and immerse them in water bodies. It is a joyous celebration of nature and feminine energy.
These are just a few examples of the festivals and observances associated with the Ashvin month in Hindu religion. The month holds great cultural and spiritual significance, with devotees engaging in rituals, prayers, and celebrations to honor deities, seek blessings, and strengthen their spiritual connection. The specific customs and traditions may vary across different regions and communities, but the essence of devotion and celebration remains consistent.