Shraavan also called Sawan is the holy and auspicious fifth month of the Hindu calendar, beginning in late July from the first day of the full moon and ending in the third week of August, the day of the next full moon. It is believe this month derives its name from the Shravan Nakshatra ruling at this time. The month of Sawan is very important for the entire sub-continent of India, as it is the period when the monsoon falls the over heated plains of India.
The importance of Sawan month is also mention in religious scriptures. According to legends, Lord Shiva drank poison in the Samudra Manthan to save the world and Goddess Parvati barred the venom from entering his body, by holding his neck. Which is why his neck turned blue. His devotees thus offer him water from river Ganga, to help him heal. Therefore this month is dedicate to Lord Shiva and the month of Sawan is consider to be the best month for worshiping Lord Shiva.
During the whole month, devotees fast during Mondays as ‘Shravan Somvar Vrat’. Mondays hold a unique belief in fasting to fulfil their desires. They offer offer milk, water, and bel leaves to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. On the Shravan Somvars, women fast and do puja of Lord Shiva for good husband and married life. Some people also fast on Tuesdays, which is calling the ‘Mangala Gauri Vrat’.
Some communities among the Hindus eat vegetarian foods during the month of Shravan. It is not only because this is a scared month, but also because the rains can cause a lot of stomach infections. Special care is thus require in food. Eating green vegetables and brinjal is forbidden during this time. As green leafy vegetables increase the risk of diseases or vata in the body. Consumption of raw milk is prohibited because digestion is not as good in this rainy season. Consumption of non vegetarian food is also prohibited. Similarly, it is best to avoid the consumption of garlic and onion. The reason for this is the tradition of not eating tamasic food habits at this time.
Sawan is consider to be a holy month in the Hindu calendar due to the numerous festivals also celebrated during this time:
|Serial No.||Festivals In Shravana Month||Description|
|1||Dashamaa Vart||Dashamaa Vart dedicates to Goddess Dashamaa as per tradition followed by Gujarat.|
|2||Krishna Janmashtami||Marks the birth of Lord Sri Krishna and is celebrate with great pomp across the world.|
|3||Raksha Bandhan||The festival signifies and celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.|
|4||Naryal Poornima||The beginning of the fishing season, and the fishermen, who depend on the sea for a living, make an offering to Lord Varuna so that they can reap bountiful fish from the sea. Fishermen start fishing in the sea after this ceremony.|
|5||Nag Panchami||On this day, the snake god Nāga is worship.|
|6||Basava Panchami||In Karnataka, celebration on the fifth day after amavasya. In 1196 AD this day Lingayat dharma guru Basava merged with god.|
|7||Avani Avittam||In southern and central parts of India, many communities perform the rituals.|
|8||Shri Baladeva birthday||Lord Krishna’s elder brother Prabhu Balarama was born on this Poornima.|
|9||Gamha Purnima||Celebration in Odisha, all the domesticate cows and bullocks are being decorate and worshipp. In Oriya Jagannath culture, the lord Krishna and Radha enjoy the rainy season of Sawan and their idols are beautifully being decorate on a swing called Jhulan, hence the name Jhulan Yatra.|
|10||Kajari Purnima||In central parts of India such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, rituals are perform by women who have sons until Kajri Purnima or the full moon day.|
|11||Pavitra Ekadashi||Vaishnavas in Gujarat and Rajasthan celebrate it as the birth of Pushtimarga, the path of grace. On this day, Lord Krishna appears in front of Shri Vallabhacharya. Shri Vallabhacharya offers him a thread, which was pious. Since that day every year, Pavitra Ekadashi is celebrated. Such threads are being offer from Ekadashi till Raksha Bandhan.|
|12||Pavitropana||In parts of Gujarat, people perform the grand pooja or the worship of Lord Shiva. It is the culmination of the prayers done throughout the year.|
|13||Jandhyam Poornima||Brahmins perform the holy thread changing ceremony on this day.|
|14||Salono||In Haryana and Punjab, Salono is celebrate by priests solemnly tying amulets on people’s wrists for protection against evil.|
|15||Pola||Celebration in Maharashtra to acknowledge the importance of bulls and oxen, who are a crucial part of agriculture and farming activities.|
|16||Shravani Mela||Major festival time at Deoghar in Jharkhand with thousands of saffron-clad pilgrims bringing holy water around 100 km on foot from the Ganges at Sultanganj, Bihar.|