Sawan, the most auspicious and special month for the worshippers of Lord Shiva, began on July 25. Also known as Shravan, the month comes after Aashad, as per the Hindu calendar. While the devotees of Lord Shiva pray the entire month, the Mondays of Sawan are of particular significance, for that’s when the special prayers (puja) are held and fasts are observed. This year, the worshippers — both men and women — began fasting from Monday, July 26. Here’s a look at the dates for the vrat (fasts) this year.
- 1st Sawan Somwar vrat: July 26, 2021, Monday
- 2nd Sawan Somwar vrat: August 2, 2021, Monday
- 3rd Sawan Somwar vrat: August 9, 2021, Monday
- 4th Sawan Somwar vrat: August 16, 2021, Monday
- Sawan Ends: August 22, 2021, Sunday
What do devotees do during the month of Shravan or Sawan?
Besides observing fast and visiting temples to offer milk, water, and bilva leaves, the worshippers also follow several other rules. Their belief is that dedication to Lord Shiva will bring prosperity and happiness to their lives. While some fast on all the Mondays of the month, others also observe vrat the entire month, which, according to them, is another crucial aspect of their belief. Among other rituals is the popular Kanwar Yatra (pilgrimage) to Haridwar, which the devotees carry out every year. They also take a holy dip in the river Ganga there. This time, however, given the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Uttarakhand government called off the Yatra.
Worshippers also chant mantras
During this month, upon their visits to the temple, the worshippers chant the Maha Mrutyunjay mantra to please Lord Shiva. They also chant Om Namah Shivaya, which means: I bow to you O Supreme Lord, the one who exists in my consciousness.
What do the worshippers eat when they fast?
Worshippers can only eat a few approved food items while fasting. For example, they can drink water and have fruits. During the entire month, devotees also don’t consume alcohol or eat non-vegetarian food. They also refrain from having food that contains garlic.
What are the other rituals?
The worshippers visit the temple in large numbers, offer prayers, and, most importantly, Panchamrut, which is a mixture of milk, ghee, yoghurt, gangajal, and honey to Lord Shiva. Every Monday, the Shravan Somwar Vrata Katha is also recited.