In the North part of India, the month of shraavan starts the day after Gurupoonam. A very religious auspicious and sacred month of the entire 12 month hindu calendar cycle. This month brings many fasting days, and is considered to be spiritually uplifting and beneficial to fast and pray as much as you possibly can. Here are some of the special days in this month:
- Shraavan Somvaar
- Naag panchami
- Raandhan Chath
- Sitala Aaatam or sital saptami
- Narali Poornima/ Rakshaa Bandhan
All mondays of shraavan- known as Shraavan Somvaar. Fast if you wish and do special prayers to Lord shiva. Many hindus also believe in offering milk to the shiva temples during these Mondays of the month of Shraavan.
Naag Panchami or Naag paancham, when hindus worship the snake.
Yet another one during this month is Raandhan chath and Sitalaa saatam or sitalaa saptami – are two days back to back where the first day we cook a lot of food in the evening and at the end of the cooking clean up the stove and worship the stove with rice red kumkum a small betalnut and a coin. Keep it for all day next day and this is the only day when we are not to turn the stove on for the whole day we are supposed to consume the food that was cooked overnight. So typical in olden times the kind of food prepared for this occasion was one that would have a shelf life of at least 24 hours. Since we did not have refrigerators then. And what do we do with all the extra time on our hands on that day? We pray, meditate and go to temples etc to spend time in spiritual upliftment of our selves on the day of sitala saptami. The day of sitali saatam, is the day when we do not light the stove. We worship the Sitala maata- of the mother goddess Sitala and give a one day break to our cooking appliance.
Another important occasion that falls on the last day of the month of shraavan is on the fullmoon day is Narali Poornima/ Rakshaa Bandhan. Narali poornima is the day when in ancient times the brahmins changed their threads of the thread ceremony. know as Janoi of Jaanav. and people also offer coconuts to the ocean on this full moon day. Falling on the same day is raksha bandhan where mostly in west and north of India this social occasion is about sisters tying a symbolic thread around her brother’s right hand wrist and praying for his health and prosperity, while the brother reciprocating the sister by offering a symbolic gift and extending his help and support to the sister for her life and well being. So, Understand the meaning and reasoning behind fasting on this page of my recipes BLOG. Pray to Lord shiva during the month of shraavan especially on mondays I have most of the commonly used pujas on this blog site, Here are some links to various shiv puja audio/videos from this blog. Veda saar shiva stav audio Shiv Manas Pooja Dwadasha Jyotirlingani Aatma Shatkum. Fast as much as you can and remember to stay healthy- check out the fasting recipes on my vegetarianrecipes blog, and stay happy and healthy. Last but not the least: Remember to do meditation. Here is one video to start you with Introduction to Meditation Video