Shree Mahanand Dham
162 Windmill Road
West Midlands United Kingdom Cv6 7Be
Charity Number: 1146820
2020 HINDU FESTIVALS - By Month
LOHRI FESTIVAL – JANUARY 13, 2020
Lohri is the winter time Punjabi folk harvest festival celebrated by both Sikhs and Hindus that marks the end of a harsh winter. It is a time for chanting mantras around the bonfire giving heartfelt gratitude to Surya Devta (Sun God) for a bountiful winter harvest and is celebrated with pooja parikrama around the ceremonial bonfire and prasaad. This festival has spread its wings to neighboring regions such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Delhi. The festival of Lohri coincides with the onset of 'Magh' month, which commences just a day after Lohri. People do Ganga Shanan (holy water bath) and Surya Darshan to 'Magh', for an auspicious start. Married couples gain blessings if they pray to Surya Devta early in the morning.
SANKRANTI – JANUARY 14, 2020
Makara Sankranti or Maghi is the festival of movement day in the Hindu calendar. It is in reference to deity Surya Devta (Sun God). The significance of the Makar Sankranti festival is that it marks the day where there is a significant movement in the zodiac – the arrangement of the earth’s dial around the sun – and this movement brings about a new change in the way we experience the planet itself. It marks the first day of sun's transit into the Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month for winter solstice and the start of longer days. Makara Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats, melas, dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts. By doing Pooja, one can attain benefits of higher consciousness; spiritual emotions enhance the body and purifies the body; offerings during this time yields successful results; holy time to spread dharma and spirituality in society.
GANESH SANKET CHAUTH – JANUARY 28, 2020 (Sri Ganesh Pooja)
Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and Ganesh Chauth. Lord Ganesha is worshipped with all sixteen rituals along with chanting of Puranik Mantras/Ganapati Upanishad during Ganesha Chaturthi Pooja which is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi Pooja. This festival celebrates Lord Ganesha as the God of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles. The festival starts with installation of Ganesha clay idols in homes or publicly. Vrata (fasting) and prasada from the daily prayers is distributed. Sri Ganesh idol is carried in a public procession on the tenth day, marking the end of the festival with music and chanting. The clay idol is then released in river or ocean. The clay idol dissolves and Sri Ganesha is believed to return to Mount Kailash to Maa Parvati and Lord Shiva. Pooja to Lord Ganesha is done for fetching positive waves to the house.
VASANT/Basant PANCHAMI - JANUARY 29, 2020 (Maa Saraswati Pooja)
Basant Panchami is a festival that marks the arrival of spring celebrated in various ways. The people of the Punjab wear yellow clothes and eat yellow rice to match the yellow mustard flower fields or play by flying kites. Saraswati Pooja is done to remove all negativity and, also for a boon to the students and people working in the field of creativity.
MAHA SHIVRATTRI (Shivrattri) – FEBRUARY 21, 2020 (Lord Shiv Pooja)
This festival is known as Mahashivarattri and falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Magh. Devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast and go to the temple of Lord Shiva to perform Pooja with holy Ganges water, bel-patra, milk, ghee, honey, fruits and flowers. Offering prayers to help resolve and to get rid of evil. Devotion to God and acquiring spiritual knowledge are the main aspects of Shivrattri. Devotees chant the Vedic Mantra offering our salutations to Lord Shiva, the giver of peace, happiness and good fortune. Lord Shiva has the power to protect us from the ill effects of Grah or planetary Dosh including Shani Dosh. Devotees who observe Lord Shiva pooja see their health improve rapidly and are protected from ailments and deadly diseases. Aum Namah Shivaya.
MARCH /APRIL FESTIVALS
HOLI – MARCH 10, 2020
Holi celebrates the arrival of spring marking the end of winter. This festival is also known as the festival of colours and festival of love. It is a time for thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It celebrates the innocent frolics of youthful Krishna with the gopis of Vrindavan.
This is a day full of prayer, play, laughter and forgiveness. Men and women celebrate by splashing colours on each other. Grains, wheat, and grams are roasted in a bonfire (holika) and offered to friends and relatives to promote a feeling of friendship and goodwill in the community. Festival starts on the evening of the Purnima (Phalgun). The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi.
Legend relates a story of a female demon called Holika, the sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu.
Prahlada, the son of the king was a great devotee of God, and the King did like that Prahlada was devotee of God since Hiranyakashipu considered himself as the king of the universe. The king persuaded his sister Holika to help kill Prahlada. Holika entered the fire with Prahlad with intention to kill Prahlad on her lap in the fire, thinking that the boon she received from Brahma could not burn her. Devotee (Bhagat) Prahlad was saved by God and Holika burnt to death for misusing her boon. Holi pooja removes all fears of people and bestows power, prosperity and happiness in life.
NAVRATRI BEGINS – MARCH 25, 2020 - APRIL 2, 2020
Navaratri is celebrated in different ways. Some fast, others feast. Some revere the same Mata (Goddess) in different forms of Her. Others worship Lord Rama. The Chaitra Navaratri culminates in Rama Navami on the ninth day, and the Sharada Navaratri ends in Durga Pooja and Dussehra. Navaratri falls twice or four times a year. Sharada (autumn) Navaratri is the most celebrated of the four Navaratris starts on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvini. Vasanta (spring) Navaratri is the second most celebrated. Magha (winter) Navaratri. fifth day of this festival is often independently observed as Vasant/Basant Panchami - start of spring in the Hindu tradition where Mata Saraswati is revered through arts, music, writing, kite flying. Hindu god of love, Kama is worshipped. Ashada (monsoon season) Navaratri falls in Ashadha
Navratri festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year. The exact dates of the festival are determined according to the Hindu luni-solar calendar. The festivities include worship/prayers to Mata Durga and Lord Rama. Mata Saraswati, Maa Lakshmi, Shri Ganesha, Kartikeya, Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna are also worshipped. During Navaratri Hindus worship Maa Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning, music and arts through Ayudha Pooja. The festival is associated to the battle that happened between Maa Durga and demon Mahishasura. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. These nine days are solely dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars. Each day is associated to an incarnation of the goddess.
Day 1: Shailaputri – This day is dedicated to Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain). Goddess Parvati is worshiped as the consort of Lord Shiva. She is shown as riding the bull, Nandi, with a trishula in her right hand and lotus in her left. Shailaputri is the direct incarnation of Mahakali. The color of the day is red, which depicts action and vigor.
Day 2: Brahmacharini (Dwitiya) - Goddess Brahmacharini is incarnation of Maa Parvati when she penances to achieve her goal to have Lord Shiva as her husband.
Day 3: Chandraghanta - Tritiya – Observes the worship of Chandraghanta - married form of Maa Parvati.
Day 4: Kushmanda - Goddess Kushmanda is worshiped on Chaturthi. Believed to be the creative power of universe, Kushmanda associated to the endowment of vegetation on earth. She is Mahalaxmi adya Shakti gauri. The color of the day is Green. She is depicted as having eight arms and sits on a Tiger.
Day 5: Skandmata - Goddess worshiped on Panchami, mother of Skanda (or Kartikeya). The color Grey is symbolic of the transforming strength of a mother when her child is confronted with danger. She is depicted riding a ferocious lion, having four arms and holding her baby.
Day 6: Katyayani - Born to a sage, Katyayana is incarnation of Maa Parvati. Exhibits courage which is symbolized by colour orange to kill Mahishasura. Known as the warrior goddess, she is considered one of the most violent forms of Goddess aadya shakti. In this avatar, Katyayani rides a lion and has four hands.
Day 7: Kalaratri - Most ferocious form of Goddess Durga, Kalaratri is revered on Saptami. It is believed that Parvati removed her fair skin to kill the demons Sumbha and Nisumbha. The color of the day is White. On Saptami, the Goddess appears in a white colour attire with a lot of rage in her fiery eyes, her skin turns black. The white colour portrays prayer and peace and ensures the devotees that the Goddess will protect them from harm.
Day 8: Mahagauri - Mahagauri symbolizes intelligence and peace. The color associated to this day is Pink which depicts optimism. She has extremely fair complexion and therefore Maa is compared with the conch, the moon and the white flower of Kunda. Radiant and compassionate, Maa Gauri is usually depicted in a white or green saari and riding a bull. She is also known as Shwetambardhara. Maa Mahagauri purifies the souls of Her devotees and removes all their sins. She has a calming effect on the lives of Her devotees and she also helps them improve their knowledge.
Day 9: Sidhidatri – The last day of the festival is Navami and, on this day, people pray to Siddhidhatri. Sitting on a lotus, she possesses and bestows all type of Siddhis. She has four hands. Also known as Mahalakshmi Devi. Colour of the day - light blue that portrays an admiration towards the nature's beauty.
Chanting the Navratri mantras during pooja, sloka, verses and Durga Stuti during Navratri, devotees receive the blessing of Maa Durga.
MAA DURGA ASHTAMI (Durgastami/Mahashtami) – APRIL 1, 2020
Maa Durga is the mother of the entire universe. Maa Durga Pooja is a Hindu festival that celebrates the worship of the goddess Durga. Durga Ashtami falls on the eighth day of Durga Pooja celebrations. Durga Ashtami falls on the Ashtami tithi of Chaitra month in the Hindu calendar. Durgastami is one of the important days of Durga Pooja and many people may fast on this day. Durga Mantra/Pooja increases strength of the mind & body
RAM NAVAMI - APRIL 2, 2020
The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the child of King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalaya - the seventh incarnation of God Vishnu. It falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Chaitra. Ram Navami is one of the most important Hindu festivals of India. Pooja and chanting of Sri Rama’s name will guide us and make our lives perfect in Dharma, love, and truth.
BAISAKHI – APRIL 13, 2020
Baisakhi Festival marks the beginning of the solar year. People of North India, especially Punjab thank God for a good harvest. Baisakhi has special significance for Sikhs as on this day in 1699, their tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji organized the order of the Khalsa. Visit to Gurudwaras, Vaisakhi processions and traditional performances are the highlights of the day.
SHRI NARSINGH JAYANTI - MAY 6, 2020
Shri Narsingh dev is the avatar of GOD Vishnu, the GOD of power and victory. Bhagat Prahlada used to worship Lord Vishnu, but his father Hiranyakashipu was against it. Hiranyakashyap wanted to kill his son for worshipping Lord Vishnu but failed every time he tried to kill him. Eventually Prahlada is saved from his father by Shri Narsingh dev, who was the half lion- half man avatar of Lord Vishnu. Anyone who does vrat (fast) and pooja on this sacred day will be blessed.
JULY FESITVALS - July 10 & 11
VISHWA SHANTI CHANDI MAHA YAGYA - 2020 - July 10 & 11 - Live from Shree Mahanand Dham due to Corona Virus Pandemic
An entire recitation of the Durga Saptashati and Havan
Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaye Vichhe
Chandi Durga Saptashati and Havan is the most powerful pooja for getting overall success in all undertakings and for removal of all kinds of Doshas and Obstacles in one’s life.
RAKSHA BHANDAN – AUGUST 3, 2020
Raksha Bhandan (Rakhi) falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Shravana. The practice of sisters tying rakhi to their brothers became predominant and is very popular among Hindus. It has become a symbol of affection between a brother and a sister. It also signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister in the times of crisis. Also, when a guru initiated a disciple, he tied a red or orange thread around his right wrist, which signified a promise to protect and a bond of mutual love and trust between the pupil and teacher.
SHRI KRISHNA JANAMASTHMI – AUGUST 11, 2020
Shri Krishna Janamasthmi is a celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna, the avatar of God Vishnu, was the eight child of mother Devaki and Vasudeva. Krishna Janamasthmi is observed on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Badon Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Badon of the Hindu Calendar. It is an important festival in the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. Devotees pray, worship, perform Shri Krishna leela and sing bhajans till midnight to celebrate the Lord’s birth followed by pooja, aarti and prasadam. A festival (mahotsava) on the following day are a part of the Janmashtami celebrations. Shri Krishna Janmashtami Pooja is very effective for achieving success in winning over enemies, protection from negativity/evil and to minimize the effect of afflicted Ketu and to get happily married long-lived life.
RADHASHTAMI – AUGUST 26, 2020
Radha Ashtami is commemorated as birth anniversary of Goddess Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna. It falls on Ashtami tithi during Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month. Devotees keep fast on Radha Asthami day. Goddess Radha is worshipped during Madhyahna Kala which is noon time according to Hindu division of the day. On this day, devotees of Lord Krishna ask Srimati Radha for her favour for Lord Krishna's grace.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER FESITVALS
NAVRATRI BEGINS - OCTOBER 17 - OCTOBER 23, 2020
DURGA ASHTAMI – OCTOBER 23, 2020
Durga Ashtami / Maha Ashtami is one of the most auspicious days of five days long Durga Pooja Festival. Many Hindus fast on this holy day. Astra Pooja as the weapons of goddess Durga are also worshiped. The eighth day of Navratri or Durga Pooja celebration is referred to as Durga Ashtami. It falls on bright lunar fortnight Ashtami tithi of Aswina month according to the Hindu calendar.
Goddess Kali appeared on this day from the forehead of Maa Durga and defeated Mahishasura demons - Chanda, Munda, and Rakthabija. 64 Yoginis and Ashta Nayikas (the eight consorts of Goddess Durga/eight shaktis) are worshiped during the Durga Pooja rituals on Mahashtami. Ashta Nayikas worshiped during Durga Pooja are Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda. One receives the divine blessings of Maa Durga after performing the Durga pooja.
RAM NAVMI – OCTOBER 24, 2020
Rama Navami is a spring Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Rama. Lord Rama is the seventh avatar of God Vishnu. The festival is a part of the spring Navratri, and falls on the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra. The day is marked by reading the Ramayana, visiting temple, prayer within the home, singing bhajans or kirtan with music, followed by pooja and aarti. Charitable events and community meals are also organized. The festival is an occasion for moral reflection for many Hindus. Some mark this day by vrata (fasting). Pooja and chanting of Sri Rama’s name will guide us and make our lives perfect in Dharma, love, and truth.
DUSHERA – OCTOBER 25, 2020
Dussehra, also called Vijayadashami is a holiday marking the triumph of Lord Rama (Vishnu avatar) over the 10-headed demon king Ravana, who abducted Lord Rama’s wife, Shrimati Sita.
The festival’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words dasha (“ten”) and hara (“defeat”). Symbolizing the victory of good over evil. Dussehra coincides with the culmination of the nine-day Navratri festival.
Dussehra, is a North Indian festival, celebrated with great fervour and fanfare. It incorporates Ram Lila, a gala theatrical enactment of Lord Rama’s life story. Effigies of Ravana—often along with those of Meghnada (Ravana’s son) and Kumbhkarana (Ravana’s brother) are stuffed with firecrackers and set ablaze at night in open fields.
KARVA CHAUTH – NOVEMBER 4, 2020
Karva Chauth is a one-day festival celebrated by Hindu women four days after purnima (a full moon) in the month of Kartika. The Karva Chauth fast is traditionally celebrated in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and as Atla Tadde in Andhra Pradesh. Historically, Karva Chauth was celebrated as a prayer for the long life of soldiers in the war, and by extension today refers to the long life of a husband. On Karva Chauth women who are married fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. Prayers are also performed.
DHANTERAS – NOVEMBER 12, 2020
Dhanteras Pooja, Dhantrayodashi Pooja. Dhantrayodashi which is also known as Dhanteras is the first day of five days long Diwali festivities. On the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the Milky Sea.
Dhanteras pooja helps individual by gaining wealth, helps to eliminate financial crisis and helps in maintaining good health and in recovery from any type of chronic diseases and other ailments of the body. This Pooja helps to lead a successful life and the career of the individual reaches a new height.
DIWALI – NOVEMBER 14, 2020
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, which is one of the most popular Hindu festival. Diwali symbolises the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance." Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness.
During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days. Hindus will prepare for Diwali by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces. Diyas / oil lamps are lit and offer pooja and worship to Maa Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth. In Bengal, the goddess Kali is worshipped, and in north India the festival signifies the victory of divine forces over those of evil. It is a celebration of the homecoming of Rama after 14 years of exile in the forest celebrating the return of Lord Rama, Maa Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman to the city of Ayodhya, where Lord Rama’s rule of righteousness would commence. Another legend is that on the day preceding Diwali, Shri Krishna killed the Demon Narakasura who had enslaved about 16, 000 women. Light fireworks, partaking in family feasts, sharing mithai and gifts are shared.
Lakshmi Pooja removes all the problems from the professional and personal life contributing to stability and wealth; also, removes the ill effects of the Grah Dosh.
BHAIYA DOOJ – NOVEMBER 15, 2020
Bhai Dooj, the festival that is celebrated just one day after the grand Diwali festival celebration is much like the festival of Raksha Bandhan that strengthens the brother-sister bond. It is one of the auspicious and popular Indian festival that is celebrated across India.
TULSI VIVAH – NOVEMBER 25, 2020
Tulsi Vivah is the ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi (holy basil) plant to the Hindu god Shaligram or Vishnu or to his avatar, Sri Krishna. The Tulsi wedding signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the wedding season in Hinduism.
The ceremonial festival is performed anytime between Prabodhini Ekadashi (the eleventh or twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Kartik) and Kartik Poornima (the full moon of the month). Couples who do not have daughters of their own generally perform Pooja/ ritual to receive blessings from the deities. Performing Tulsi Vivah and Pooja helps in solving problems related to marriage, child birth or any obstacles.
GURU NANAK JAYANTI - NOVEMBER 30, 2020
Guru Nanak Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti marks the birth of the first Sikh Guru who laid the foundation of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. It is the most sacred day in Sikhism. Guru Nanak advocated a divine power which is formless, creator of universe, beyond fear, beyond hatred, beyond death, beyond birth, self-existent. Prayer helps us look within ourselves to that formless power of the universe.