Sankashti Chaturthi: The day very dear to Lord Ganesha!

We know that the most important observance to please Lord Shiva is Pradosh Vrat and to please Lord Vishnu is Ekadasi. Similarly, there is a significant day and observance to please Lord Ganesha, the lord of obstacles.

The fourth day of Krishna paksha (waning phase of the moon) of every lunar month in the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Sankashti Chaturthi, the day dedicated to Lord Ganesha. 

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Sattila Ekadasi

The special Ekadasi that is celebrated during the Krishna Paksha (waning moon period) of Magh month (North India) and Paush (other parts of India) is known as Sattila Ekadasi or Tilda Ekadasi. This Ekadasi derives its name from the usage of til (sesame seeds) in the following sat (six) ways for spiritual purification.

• Bathing in the water mixed with sesame seeds
• Rubbing sesame seed paste on the body

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Sheetala Ashtami: Basoda

The ashtami (eighth day) in the Krishna paksha (waning phase of the moon) of the Chaitra month (South India)/ Phalguna month (North India) of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Sheetala Ashtami. The festival is dedicated to Sheetala Devi, the goddess worshipped to ward off diseases like measles, small pox, chickenpox, cholera and various other skin diseases too.

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Vasant Panchami: The beautiful springtime festival

“And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils” remarks William Wordsworth (18th century English poet) upon the sight of beautiful golden daffodils. Whose heart doesn't rejoice upon seeing the attractive golden and yellow blossoms and the captivating dew drops that shine like pearls on the tender twigs? Is there a soul that is not inspired by the warmth of the early morning sun, the pleasant weather that is free from the harsh hot and cold climates and the sweet sound of the chirping of the birds?

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Vijaya Ekadasi: The Ekadasi that bestows victory!

The Ekadasi that falls in the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon) of Phalguna month was faithfully observed by a great epic hero, Lord Rama to gain vijaya (victory) over Ravana! The glories of this Ekadasi known as Vijaya Ekadasi are explained by Lord Krishna to King Yudhishtira in the Skanda Purana.

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Chaitra Navratri

Navratri is the 10 days and 9 nights festival celebrated in the honour of Goddess Durga in her 9 major forms. The most important Navratri celebrated in a year are Chaitra Navratri (March-April) and Sharad Navratri (September-October).

Chaitra Navratri, also known as Vasant Navratri is celebrated during the Shukla pasha (waxing phase of the moon) in the month of Chaitra and concludes with Sri Rama Navami festival. Chaitra Navratri is thus rightly called as Rama Navratri too.

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Papamochani Ekadasi: The day that absolves all the sins

The Ekadasi that occurs during the Krishna paksha (waning phase of the moon) of the Chaitra month not only destroys the sins but also gives freedom from the guilt associated with committing the sins. This special Ekadasi is known as Papamochani Ekadasi, wherein “Papa” refers to sins and “mochan” refers to release.

Upon the request of King Yudhishtira, Lord Krishna narrates the glories of Papamochani Ekadasi as told earlier by Lomasa Rishi to King Mandhata. The glories of Papamochani Ekadasi are described in the Bhavishyottara Purana.

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