Shravan Maas in 2023: : Discover the Dates and Significance of Sawan in this Rare Occurrence
Sahravan Month: Sawan, or the month of Shravan, is a significant period in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival of Shrawan Maas holds immense importance for Shiva devotees, marked by deep spiritual devotion, fasting, and celebrations among millions of Hindus in India and beyond. Traditionally, Sawan occurs during July and August, coinciding with the monsoon's arrival in India. The rainfall is seen as a divine blessing from Lord Shiva, representing the rejuvenation of life.
When Is Shravan Or Sawan 2023?
Shravan or Sawan in 2023 will commence on July 4 and continue till August 31, spanning a period of 59 days. Interestingly, this year's Sawan will have eight Mondays dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Sawan Somwars, instead of the usual four observed every year.
This year's Sawan is considered exceptionally special due to a rare event occurring after 19 years. The Shrawan festivities will stretch over a remarkable span of 59 days, generating immense enthusiasm among Hindus. This prolonged duration adds an extra layer of auspiciousness to the celebrations. The extended Sawan month is a result of the Adhik Maas or Mal Maas, a supplementary lunar month in the Hindu calendar, as per astrological calculations.
Here are the significant dates for Sawan or Shravan according to the Drik Panchang:
July 4, 2023: Sawan begins on Tuesday.
July 10, 2023: The first Sawan Somwar Vrat (fasting) takes place on Monday.
July 17, 2023: The second Sawan Somwar Vrat occurs on Monday.
July 18, 2023: Shravan Adhika Maas (additional lunar month) starts on Tuesday.
July 24, 2023: The third Sawan Somwar Vrat is observed on Monday.
July 31, 2023: The fourth Sawan Somwar Vrat takes place on Monday.
August 7, 2023: The fifth Sawan Somwar Vrat is observed on Monday.
August 14, 2023: The sixth Sawan Somwar Vrat occurs on Monday.
August 16, 2023: Shravan Adhika Maas ends on Wednesday.
August 21, 2023: The seventh Sawan Somwar Vrat takes place on Monday.
August 28, 2023: The eighth and final Sawan Somwar Vrat is observed on Monday.
August 31, 2023: Sawan ends on Thursday.
During the month of Sawan, various customs and festivities are observed. Here are some commonly practiced traditions and celebrations associated with this auspicious period:
Fasting is a prevalent practice during the month of Sawan, especially on Mondays, which hold great significance for Lord Shiva. People voluntarily refrain from eating specific foods and follow a strict vegetarian diet. Additionally, some individuals choose to observe a unique form of fasting called "Nirjala Vrat," where they abstain from both food and water throughout the day.
Kanwar Yatra is a spiritual journey embarked upon by ardent followers of Lord Shiva. This pilgrimage involves traveling to revered rivers, such as the Ganges, to collect water. The gathered water is then devoutly offered to the Shiva lingam in temples. As part of this tradition, devotees carry elaborately adorned bamboo or metal poles known as "kanwars" on their shoulders, walking long distances to reach the sacred pilgrimage sites.
Offering Milk And Bilva Leaves:
As an expression of their deep devotion, followers of Lord Shiva present offerings of milk, water, and sacred bilva leaves to the idol or Shiva lingam in temples. This act of offering signifies a heartfelt reverence towards the deity.
Rudra Abhishekam is a distinctive ceremony conducted in Shiva temples during the month of Sawan. This ritual entails the ceremonial bathing of the Shiva lingam using a combination of revered elements such as milk, curd, honey, ghee, and consecrated water. The sacred act is accompanied by the recitation of prayers and mantras, creating a spiritually uplifting ambiance.
Bhajans And Kirtans:
Bhajans and kirtans form an integral part of the Sawan celebrations, where devotees assemble in temples or homes to engage in soulful singing of devotional songs and participate in religious discourses. These gatherings cultivate a serene and spiritually enriching atmosphere, fostering a profound connection with Lord Shiva and nurturing the devotees' devotion.
Sawan is marked by vibrant cultural events, lively fairs, and captivating processions in certain regions. These festivities encompass captivating displays of traditional dances, melodious music performances, and captivating showcases that celebrate the rich cultural heritage associated with Lord Shiva. It is a time when communities come together to revel in the joyous expressions of their shared cultural identity.
Decorating Temples and Shrines:
During Sawan, temples and shrines devoted to Lord Shiva are adorned with exquisite decorations comprising vibrant flowers, radiant lights, and intricate ornamental embellishments. These visually captivating displays create an enchanting ambiance that attracts devotees who visit these sacred sites to offer their heartfelt prayers and seek the divine blessings of the revered deity.