"It is a celebration of life. It is a source of life."
Festivals mark the spirit of joy and celebration. However, they are celebrated according the movement of the planets of sun and moon in the skies. They demonstrate the rich cultural heritage of the people. Apart from astrological significance in celebrating festivals, they help in bringing happiness and strength to the lives of people by spreading the message of universal brotherhood. Significance of festivals lies in the fact that each festival is celebrated because of reasons due to: a historical legend, an astrological happening, important events that had taken place in a country or land, change of seasons or worship of Gods. Thus, by celebrating, they help facilitate this knowledge and tradition to be passed to the next generation.
Each celebration involves worship to Gods, wearing of new clothes, visit to temples, preparation and distribution of delicious sweets, meeting of families, friends and neighbors, mutual exchange of gifts, cleaning and decoration of houses, music, dance and sumptuous feast.
Types of Festivals
Though there are many kinds of festivals like national festivals, seasonal festivals, religious festivals, listed below are some that hold astrological importance.
- For example, the harvest festival of Makara Sankaranti or pongal, marks sun`s journey in the northward direction with the advent of spring. It is considered to be the most auspicious festivals among Hindus as it is believed that all negativities of the past are burnt with the coming of the new season and it ushers in a period of commencing all ventures and enterprises. It is celebrated on January 14th every year and on this day the sun transits from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Makara in Sanskrit, means Capricorn and Sankaranti means transition. It is during this season that farmers till their soil, sow new seeds. Harvest is done. Prayers are offered to Gods to bless their crops from damage, safety of cattle, protection from calamities and plenty of rainfall in the due time.
- But the most celebrated one is the Mesha (Aries) sankaranti and Makara (Capricorn) sankaranti. It represents the beginning of farming season with tilling of land and preparation of land for sowing of crops.
- Farmers worship the sun-god on this occasion to bless them with bountiful harvests. Worship of Sun is done during most of the festivals as He is the giver of life, light, makes crops grow in bounty, brings rainfall and bestows prosperity and abundance.
Diwali – Festival of Lights
- It is a Hindu festival that is celebrated on a new moon called Aswayuja Amavasya in the months of oct-nov, on the 15th day of the month of Karthika.
- The planetary positions on this day confer auspiciousness, happiness and prosperity. The sun and moon in conjunction are placed in the house of Libra. Libra rules business. It marks the beginning of a new financial year for tradesman and business class. Libra also represents the spirit of universal brotherhood.
- The day is ruled by star Swati, which showers rays of happiness, gaiety and cheer.
- Goddess Lakshmi, embodiment of wealth is worshipped for abundance and prosperity on this day. It was on this day that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the Ocean of milk churned by the demons and Gods. Lord Dhanvantari, who spread the knowledge of Ayurveda to the world also manifested from the milky ocean on this day and the day is called Dhanteras.