Rainy season in India is significant not only for farmers and the economy but crores of devotees of Lord Shiva and Vishnu observe vrats and do pujas in the month of Sawan. Sawan is an auspicious month in the Hindu Calendar that begins on July 6, day after Chandra Grahan or lunar eclipse on Sunday. Sawan corresponds to primarily July and August, when the monsoon peaks across India. It is also known as 'Shravan' and 'Avani'. Sawan is also the second of the Chaturmas or the four auspicious months of the year.
Mythology says, it is in Sawan that Lord Shiva had chosen Parvati as his wife and the month is dedicated to Shiva and Parvati. Many devotees of Shiva fast every Monday or the 'Sawan Somwar' to seek his blessings.
Shravan: Key dates for vrat or puja
Kamika Ekadashi (July 16): This is one of the 24 Ekadashi vrats, observed to seek the blessing of Lord Vishnu.
Shravan Somwar Vrats: Devotees fast on all Mondays and offer prayers to Shiva.
Mangala Gauri Vrats: Many married women do puja on Tuesdays for happiness of their family.
Hariyali Teej (July 23): Married women celebrate the day for the well-being of their spouse and children.
Nag Panchami (July 25): Women offer prayers and milk to the Snake God for the good health of family members.
Kalki Jayanti (July 25): Devotees offer prayers to Kalki, the tenth and the last incarnation of Lord Vishnu at the end of Kali Yuga.
Shravana Putrada Ekadashi: One of the 24 Ekadashi vrats, observed to seek the blessing of Lord Vishnu.
Varalakshmi Vratam (July 31): Devotees celebrate the day and offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity.
Raksha Bandhan (August 3): The day celebrates the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters.
Narali Purnima (August 3): This is also known as Shravan Purnima and is considered to be a very auspicious day. Devotees fast and offer prayers to Shiva.
Shravan is also the month when lakhs devotees of Lord Shiva hold go on Kanwar Yatra every year. They gather at Haridwar to take a holy dip in the Ganga. Kanwars carry the water from the Ganga and offer it to Shivalingas in temples.