Maha Shivratri is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva on the final night of the Krishna paksha (dark half or waning phase) of the moon (night before Amavasya) in the month of Phalgun (Feb-March) by almost all sects within Hinduism. It is a day of fasting for all devotees of Lord Shiva and is one of the eight most significant days of fasting in the Hindu Calendar. This article describes prayers, meaning and significance of this festival…
Vasant Panchami (also known as Basant Panchami) is a festival in honor of Goddess Saraswati, the hindu Goddess of education, learning and the fine arts (music, writing, painting, etc.). The festival is celebrated on the fifth (panch) day after the new moon (amavasaya) in the month of Magha according to the Hindu calendar (usually occurs in late January or early February). It marks the onset of spring (vasant) according to the Hindu calendar and is marked with great gaiety and celebrations all across the northern states in India.
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Durga Navratri, or the nine (nava-) nights (-ratri) of Durga, are celebrated in the first 9 days of the bright half of the month (starting from the day after Amavasya) of Aswayuja/Asvina in the Indian lunar calendar (usually in end of September or early October). This period of nine days is the beginning of the festival season in all parts of India as the period of Navratri concludes with Dasehra (or victory day or Vijaya-Dashami) on the tenth day of the festival. The nine-day festival honors the role of three prinicipal female Goddesses in the Hindu pantheon – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Om Namah Shivaya is a three word Mahamantra that is considered to be the supreme invocation to Lord Shiva. The gayatri invocation for Lord Shiva is called Rudra Gayatri. Aum tadpurushAya vidhmahe.