Different moods of Shravan
In India, Shravan is a month that comes with lot of moods; mood to celebrate festivals, mood to pray Almighty, mood to celebrate our independence, mood of enjoying holidays, mood of shopping gifts, mood to travel to holistic destination and lot more.
Being a Gujarati, I would like to invite you Gujarat to enjoy and feel the mood of Shravan. I guarantee you to have unique enjoyment in Gujarat during this month. Here you will enjoy other two variety of mood in Shravan mood of cooking food and eating lot of food.
Shravan in Gujarat
Shravan month of Hindu calendar has lot of significance worshiping Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. In Gujarat, the celebration of this month starts with Amavasya (previous month of Shravan) known as “Divaso”. The word “Divaso” comes from the fact that Dipawali, the prime festival of India comes after 100 days from Divaso and around 100 festivals are celebrated and observed during this period. This is the reason for celebrating this day by offering sweet to the God. This is also a day where Gujarati start observing fast by taking meals just once in a day. The month ends with the celebration of “Somvati Amas” by cooking and offering “laddoos” to Lord Shiva. Gujarati loves to cook and eat food and they do not even miss a single day where they can make a day unusual by eating some good stuff.
Style of worshipping Lord Krishna
You will feel and breathe very pious and religious air in Gujarat. You can find temples with “Shravan Jhoola” to pamper Lord Krishna who is known as “Controller of our life” in Hindu religion. This is also the month when Lord Krishna took birth. You can find “Shravan Jhoola” made from flowers, vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, toys, balloons, etc. The concept behind preparing various types of Jhoola is the faith that whatever you get or require in your life comes from the Almighty. So you should offer all such things that you want in your life to the controller of your life Lord Krishna.
Style of worshiping Lord Shiva
Hindu religion says that Goddess Parvati performed meditation to marry Lord Shiva during this month. She ate only fruits that were found in the jungle during her meditation. Finally, Lord Shiva blessed to marry her. Hence this month carry lot of significance worshiping Lord Shiva. It is a belief especially among unmarried girls that Lord Shiva gives blessings to get marry with ideal life partner if he is worshiped during this month. This is the reason people here take meals just once in a day and devoting maximum time praying God for well-being of their families. You can find lot of people in the temples of Lord Shiva performing pooja with madhurashtakam, chandan, flowers and bilvapatra.
Each of these items used in pooja has its own significance. Madhurashtakam also known as ‘Panchamrit’ is considered to be ‘amrit’ prepared from milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey. Pooja is performed with Panchamrit to pray for the prosperity, wealth and healthy life. Another significant item that is included in pooja is ‘Bilvapatra’. Lord Shiva loves ‘Bilvapatra’. The belief prevails that ‘Bilvapatra’ is the group of three leaves symbolize Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva and offering it to Lord Shiva means to reducing sin that is made not only in this birth but in the life that you lead for last three births.
The temples are decorated with flowers and lighting. People of Gujarat prefer to spare time to visit temples daily and perform pooja standing in a queue holding the items required to perform pooja.
Celebration of major festivals in Shravan
There is a long list of festivals in this month typically celebrated by every Gujarati. The major festivals are Raksha bandhan, Bol Chauth, Naag Panchmi, Randhan Chhat, Shitla Satam, Janmashtami, Parna etc. Besides these festivals, married Hindu women perform various vrat like ‘Dashama nu vrat’, ‘Jivantika nu vrat’, ‘Lakshmi Vrat’, ‘Putra da ekadashi’, dedicated to different Goddesses. Each of these vrat has vrat katha associated describing significance and reason of performing the vrat. Perhaps, this may be difficult to accept the fact that how anyone can believe and observe so many vrat. But it is fact that Guju have so much astha in these vrat and puja even if they are leaving very modern life. The entire family gets involved in the celebration with their daily routine. You will find even working married women observing these vrat. And that is the culture and heritage of Gujarat.
Gujarati believe in liberal fasting in which they prefer to take “farari recipes”. They love to cook and eat fasting food like chevda, pettis, buff vada, potato chips and fries along with various kinds of sweets. So “farari food” lovers have another reason to visit Gujarat in next Shravan. One can find even more number of items than the regular meals to eat during the fast.
Rakshabandhan is the auspicious festival of this month celebrated by brother and sister by tying rakhi on brother hand and offering return gifts to sister. You can find heavy sale on men, women and kids outfits. If the sister is married then the gifts are offered to the entire family of the married sister. So you can find shopping mood with heavy seasonal discounts. According to current trend, people actually stock their clothes in this season to take advantage of heavy discounts.
The other main festival celebrated in this month starts from Bol Chauth to Parna. Most of the schools in Gujarat observe mini vacation of 6-7 days from Naag Panchami to Parna along with Saturday and Sunday. Children and youngsters of the family get together and plan day out carrying variety food to eat. If you are planning to travel Saurashtra region of Gujarat during this month, then you can also enjoy fun fairs during this mini vacation. The fun fair known as “lokmela” is held every year in Rajkot becomes prime source of enjoyment during this vacation. People living in nearby location specially come to Rajkot to enjoy this “lokmela”.
With this blog, I can just convey the importance and way of celebrating Shravan in Gujarat. Make sure if you plan to visit Gujarat, plan your visit during month of Shravan. i.e first of second week of August.