Gujarat celebrates numerous festivals throughout the year with high fervour, but the month of Shravan is considered to be highly auspicious and dedicated to Lord Shiva. For a number of Hindu communities the cycle of fasts (vrats) begin from this sacred month of Shravan. It is during this month devotees engross themselves in sacred and spiritual affair.
Every single day during this tenth month of the Gujarati calendar is considered to be extremely favourable, specifically the Shravan Mondays because the day is completely devoted to worshipping Lord Shiva. There are several different ways that devotees go about when it comes to fasting during Shravan. There are few who simply eat one meal per day, and few choose to eat only fruits and milk during this holy month. Just about every devotee of Lord Shiva follows a strict vegetarian diet.
Throughout the month of Shravan every single day is has a unique significance along with its own ritual, which continues to live to the present day. The entire state is enriched with tradition and customs which is strongly imbibed in each Gujarati family. First Sunday of Shravan is known for Veerpasli vrat that is continued for the next eight days, is believed for the wellbeing of the male members in the family.
In Gujarat, several girls fast from the first Monday of the Shravan month for next sixteen Mondays (Solah Somwar) so as to be blessed with a good spouse, happiness, and peaceful life. On the whole this entire month has different fast days i.e., Phool Kajali, Chokha Kajali and Gai Vrat, which is connected to the myths of marriage. During the month of Shravan the rain gods shower their blessings. Some researchers consider that fasting (varts) helps the people to stay hale and hearty because the waterborne infections spread too quickly.
Around this time nearly all Shiva temples are crowded as all devotees seek their Lord’s blessings by making offerings and abhishekam (mixture of milk and water). The Shravan month brings along many great important festivals i.e., Nag Pancham, Shitala Satam, and Janmashtami.
Living in this amazingly cultural state where different traditions and rituals, developed by various sects i.e. individuals and idealistic institutions, in different situations and at different periods by our ancient still survive and encourage us improve ourselves.
Beyond Khidki wishes everyone a blessed and prosperous Shravan month!