Well, the Indian calendar has a long list of exciting and thrilling festivals that vary in their origin. While some people celebrate the Indian calendar festival as the birthdays of gods, saints, or national heroes others celebrate festivals that are held on the occurrence of a change of seasons. Some people may even celebrate festivals as the origin of myths and as the legends of the land. Specifically, there is yet another reason for people to celebrate festivals, i.e, on account of astronomical and astrological occurrences. Yes, you heard that right. The following excerpt will shed more light on the crucial days and important dates in Indian Calendar.
Astronomical Significance of the Indian Calendar
Makar Sankranti is a very unique and special festival. Well, this festival, which falls every year around 14 January, is a date that has astronomical, scientific as well as medical significance. This is the day when the sun transits from the dhanu rashi or Sagittarius to the Makar Rashi or Capricorn. Also, it is on this date that the sun moves up from the Southern sphere to the Northern sphere. And as a result, the days become longer and the severity of the winter becomes milder.
Spiritual Influence of the Indian Calendar
This change of position of the sun has an equal spiritual significance too. From this day onwards, the flight of pious people who die after this day can easily soar higher into the upper regions of the cosmos. This happens because of the air and due to an increase in the intensity of heat. Therefore, the soul sails upwards with less resistance. Thus, there’s a spiritual influence due to the onset of various important festivals as per the Indian calendar.
Bhishma’s Encounter With Death
Bhishma Pitamaha is a personality from the Mahabharata fame. Though he fell on the battlefield on the tenth day of the battle in November of the Indian Calendar, his last breath wasn’t then. In fact, his last was at his will after fifty-eight days when the sun came to a particular position in the Northern sphere from the Southern sphere. Well, the West has yet to study this aspect of human life. However, Indian scientists, the wise rishis and munis, had carried out vast research in the field of metaphysics, spiritualism, and matter related to life after death. Hence, the conclusion about the faster ascent of the soul after Makar Sankranti is relevant and true.
Indian Calendar Festival – Basant Panchami
In the month February, as the earth traverses further along the sun’s orbit, then comes the festival of Vasant Panchami. Nowadays people even call it the ‘Basant Panchami’. In terms of comparative cultural significance, the festival is equivalent to the Chinese New Year. One could also equate it with the Christian Candlemass festival or event.
Basant Panchami And Knowledge Go Hand-In-Hand
On the fifth day of the magha month of Indian Calendar, traditionally, people wear yellow clothes. And along with this, sweet saffron rice is cooked, especially in north India, to herald the onset of vasant or spring. This day is indeed very auspicious for initiating young ones into education. Believe it or not, in the olden days, young pupils were led to temples or under the shade of peepal trees for education. The motive behind this was to start imbibing knowledge. But the process came only after having to perform the Saraswati Puja. Many people only knew the festival as a ‘puja’. However, it is much more than that.
Mustard Fields And Everything Nice
The boat of though times have sailed long back and now we follow the British calendar instead of the Indian calendar. We follow this calendar to admit children into schools in the months of April–May. Basant Panchami is still a celebration often known as Saraswati Puja. This is something which happens to date. Till around the 1950s, men and women were both seen flying kites on this day. Mustard fields are resplendent with their tiny yellow flowers in full bloom. They look very beautiful and pretty. And it is the perfect time for harvesting. Varieties of flowers start blooming around this time, and there is an indeed sweet fragrance in the air. The entire aura and ambience turn lively and there’s happiness all around.
There is also a special festival with the name of Vasantmahotsav. It is also a part of the celebration on the day of Basant Panchami itself. In other parts of the country, the name was different. In some places the name Dadhi Kamdho was existing. The ease to pronounce and familiarity with one’s language also plays a huge role. Even though time changes, people are still seen wearing yellow clothes. They are still cooking sweet saffron yellow rice to keep the tradition alive today. And knowing the reasons behind them gives you that adrenaline rush to continue doing them, isn’t it?