As a young girl, every now and then, I would listen to my mom about the next day’s POOJAS. Dev -Shayani Ekadashi, Janamashtami, Teej, Ganapati, and so on. I would wonder, how does one remember which festival falls when. And one fine day, I decided to make a list of all the festivals my mom used to celebrate. As I turned the Hindu calendar pages, I realized that our Rishis were very organized.
In April, we celebrate the Indian New Year’s Day. That is when the crop is ready and prosperity is in the air. After the celebration, it is time for some Daan and hard work. In May – June, the new crop is sown. During the same time, falls Nirjala Ekadashi.
After the May – June hot Sun and tiresome work on the new crop, it is time to enjoy a bit and celebrate. Hence the month of Shraavan. The Devs go off to bed, because probably in the cool rainy season, it is easier for them to sleep. The watering of the farms is taken care of by the rainy season.
In August is Janamashtami and by now the early crop of pulses is ripe. It is now that there is a danger of crop being destroyed and facing major losses. This leads to the invitation to Ganpati Bappa. The Adi Ganesh, the Vighan Harta. Ganesha protects the crop and promises healthy crop.
After Ganapati, it is the days of Pitris or Pitri Paksh. All of us remember the teachings of our ancestors. We pray to our ancestors and take their blessings for a happy and abundant life.
The blessings from Ganapati and our ancestors help us to perform Shakti Pooja or Durga Pooja. By this time the crop is almost ready. This leads to a succession of festivals: The Dushera, Deepawali and all the Kartik Maas festivals. It is now time for the Devs to wake up and enjoy the crop.
After all the festivities and enjoyment and hard work, and inset of winter, it is time to rest a bit and enjoy the earnings from the crop.
In January, the festival of Lohri and Makar Sakranti is celebrated. These mark the fading off winter and welcoming sunshine into our lives. In February, we take the blessings of Goddess Saraswati to ensure a balance between prosperity earned during Deepawali and learning. Goddess Saraswati makes us aware of our Creator, Lord Shiv-Shiva, and hence we celebrate Shivratri.
Holi, the festival of colors is celebrated to make us remember that our life is full of festivals and colors.
So, we have our festivals equally distributed over the year. They follow a pattern. Every month has a festival that brings excitement in life, something different from the regular routine work which changes the monotonous schedule. We live our life in the play way method, after all, our life is our learning and earning. I bow down to all the Rishis, and Gurus who have made our life so easy, colorful, and an enjoyable stay on Earth.