Showing posts with label uttarayana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label uttarayana. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is A Hindu Year In The Hindu Lunar Calendar?

 


Both the solar and lunar calendars are used to establish the Hindu ritual year.

There are two indigenous Hindu solar year estimates, both of which feature twelve solar months, in addition to the Gregorian calendar and the common era.

These months correlate to the twelve zodiac signs in northern India, and they vary as the sun goes through them.

The year starts when the sun enters Aries, as it does in the Western zodiac, albeit in Indian astrology, this shift occurs around April 14, rather than March 21, as it does in Euro-American astrology.

A similar solar calendar exists in southern India, with names derived from the names of certain nakshatras or lunar asterisms.

Apart from the solar months, the solar year is split into two parts depending on the sun's movement: the Uttarayana for when the sun is travelling north and the Dakshinayana for when the sun is going south.

On Makara Sankranti, January 14, the sun starts its northward trip, which is considered the more auspicious period; six months later, on Karka Sankranti, July 14, the sun begins its southbound journey, which is considered the less auspicious time.


The lunar calendar, which has twelve lunar months, is far more important for religious purposes:


  1. Chaitra (March–April), 
  2. Baisakh (April–May), 
  3. Jyeshth (May–June), 
  4. Ashadh (June–July), 
  5. Shravan (July–August), 
  6. Bhadrapada (August–September), 
  7. Ashvin (September–October), 
  8. Kartik (October–November), 
  9. Margashirsha (November–December), 
  10. Paush (December–January), 
  11. Magh (January–February), 


The calendar in northern India normally starts on the first day of the brilliant half of Chaitra, and ends on the first day of the dark half of the same month.

The festivals designated by this lunar calendar happen at various times each year in relation to the solar calendar since these lunar months are based on the phases of the moon (ending with the full moon in northern India and the new moon in southern India).

Because the twelve lunar months take around 354 solar days to complete, each lunar year starts eleven days sooner than the previous one.

This mismatch is remedied every 212 years by the insertion of an additional lunar month, known as the intercalary month, which brings the solar and lunar calendars into broad agreement.

The intercalary month is added to each lunar month during which the sun does not enter a new zodiac sign, allowing it to fall in any month of the year.

Although the solar calendar is less significant in daily life, it aids in maintaining the basic correlation between the lunar calendar and the periodic festivals linked with it.

The three primary seasons (hot, monsoon, and cool) have strong linkages with the festival calendar, at least in northern India.

The chilly season, from October and February, is the most ritually busy period; in many locations, this is also the time after the harvest, when many people have more time and money to devote to religious observances.

Many ceremonies are related with heat in the hot season, but the rainy season, as a period of hazard, is often associated with rites of protection.


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Hinduism - What Is The Hindu Festival Of Makara Sankranti?

 

Makara Sankranti is the Hindu New Year.

A religious celebration that occurs on the day the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn (sankranti) (makara).

This happens around December 20 according to Western astrology, but January 14 according to Indian astrology (jyotisha).

This is one of the rare times throughout the festival year when the solar calendar is used rather than the lunar calendar.

The sun is said to be starting its "northward trek" on Makara Sankranti (uttarayana).

This will last for six months, until Karka Sankranti, when the sun enters Cancer and starts its "southward journey" (dakshinayana).

Because the uttarayana is seen to be more fortunate than its counterpart, the day of its transition is considered especially auspicious.

Makara Sankranti is predominantly a bathing (snana) celebration, with large crowds flocking to rivers, particularly the Ganges, on that day.

The greatest bathing festival on the Ganges is held on Sagar Island (also known as Ganga Sagar) in West Bengal, where the Ganges empties into the sea in the Bay of Bengal.


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Hinduism - What Is The Karka Sankranti Festival?

 


Karka Sankranti is the Hindu New Year.

The beginning of the dakshinayana, the six-month period during which the sun travels toward the south, is marked on the Indian calendar by the sun's passage into the zodiac sign of Cancer.

This occurs at the summer solstice (about June 21) in Western astrology, but around July 14 in Indian counting.

The disparity occurs because the two systems commemorate the start of the astrological year in different ways.

The beginning of the year in Western astrology is determined by the sun's position in respect to the earth, which happens on the spring equinox (around March 21).

The beginning of the zodiac in Indian counting occurs when the sun contacts the middle of a group of stars known as Ashvini, and is based on the sun's location in relation to fixed stars.

Unlike Makara Sankranti, which happens six months earlier and marks the start of the sun's northward journey, Karka Sankranti is not observed by notable observances (uttarayana).

The deity Yama, who is death personified, is connected with the southern direction.

As a result, this southerly trend is seen as less favorable than its northern equivalent. 

 

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Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.