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  1. Month wise Information Of Some Festivals And Rituals

    The principal objective in all the rituals is to worship the god or goddess. Some festivals and rituals are national in nature whereas some are specific to different province. Some local changes are made depending upon the specific province where they are observed. Here, mainly, some of the festivals and ritual of Maharashtra are described. A number of festivals and customs among the Chittapavans and other Brahmins are common. In stead of giving only the list of titles of those festival or rituals, information is given here in brief.
    1. Chaitra:
    According to the Shaliwahan calendar, Chaitra is the first month of the year. By adding 78 numbers the number of year of A.D. we get the number of this calendar.
    Gudhi Padava:
    The first day of the moon ascending fortnight of Chaitra month is called Gudhi Padava. According to the Shaliwahan calendar the year starts with this as the first day. This is one of the 3 and ½ regarded as auspicious days (Muhurths) during of the year.
    After killing Ravana, the king of Lanka, Lord Shriram with Sita and Laxman came back to Ayuodya on this day. That is the Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada. All the Indians host the flags i.e. Gudhya to welcome the coming back of Shriram and express their joy, so this day is called Gudhi Padava. This tradition is observed throughout India even today.
    Chaitrangan : This is to clean ones’ front yard, plaster it with cow dung and then to draw various kinds of rangoli (colour pictures and designs )in which the Sun, the Moon and Gopadma are drawn and worshipped. This Chaitrangan is put up from the first day of Chaitra till the Akshyatritiya day. Since there is a shortage of space nowadays, small rangolis are drawn outside the front door.
    Chaitragauri (Gajagauri): It is believed that on the third day of ascending fortnight of Chaitra month, Gauri comes back to her maternal home. This day her idol is established and from this day to Akshya tritiya she is worshiped. The Akshya tritiya is the day of completion of this ritual. During this period, as per the convenience, people observe fast on the days of the goddess namely the Tuesdays and the Fridays. The idol of the goddess is placed and adorned with a decoration around her. Other married women are invited for ‘haladi-kunku’ i.e as guests invited to honour them for coming. Their Oti is filled with gram dal (cereals soaked in water). (ladies are offered the gram dal with honour.) They are served with raw mango and gram dal and a juice of the raw boiled mango too. According to the changing times, the custom of this decoration and ‘haladi and Kunku’is disappearing. Now only the ‘haladi-kunku’ is observed. This is a festival of Annapurna. The objective of this ritual is to pray to goddess with a wish that let there be prosperity of food in the house.
    Chaitra shuddha Navami : This day is called the Ram Navami. On this day at 12 noon Lord Shriram was born in Ayodhya. So the vow called Ramvrat is observed. The resolution is made on the 8th day, on the 9th i.e. Ram navami the birth celebration with worship of idol of Ram, recitation of Ram nama, lecture on Ram and singing devotional songs etc. are performed and on the 10th there is the completion of the ritual. It is said that observance of this vrat i.e. ritual washes away all our sins and one gets a better abode after death.
    Chaitra Pournima : The 15th moon ascending day of Chaitra month is called Chaitra Pournima. On this day, Hanuman, the devotee of Lord Sriram was born at the sunrise. At that time the birth day of Hanuman is celebrated.