Venus Enters Virgo – August 1st, Wednesday
Planet Venus, the Shukra Graha, is one of the important planets that are considered benefic. It represents love, perhaps the noblest of emotions and denotes much-valued aspects like beauty, romance, artistic temperament, pleasures, and comforts. Venus thus stands for everything enjoyable in life. It also rules the zodiac signs Taurus and Libra and bestows natives with intellect and wealth. Hence, astrology attaches a lot of importance to its transit in a sign.
Venus will enter the sign of Virgo on August 1, 2018 and will stay there for about a month. The Virgo-born can expect some positive results during this period. There may be monetary gains, progress in education, marriages or childbirths, prosperity and enhanced comforts. However, there may be temptations towards unethical activities, which they should avoid. Other zodiac signs may have their own varied fortunes.
Aadi Perukku – August 3rd, Friday
Aadi Perukku is a monsoon festival which celebrates nature in the form of rivers and water bodies. ‘Aadi’ is a Tamil month, which corresponds to July–August and ‘Perukku’ is a Tamil word which means rising or flowing. Aadi Perukku, thus, denotes the abundant flow of water in the rivers during the month of Aadi. This is celebrated on the 18th of Aadi and hence, is called as ‘Padhinettaam Perukku,’ the copious flow of the eighteenth. This day falls on Friday, August 3, 2018.
Aadi itself is considered as an auspicious month and is devoted for prayers and religious activities, mainly dedicated to Amman, the Goddess.
Aadi Perukku remains as an occasion for ceremonial worships and joyous celebrations especially in the villages, where people perform many rituals, make unique offerings to the deities, enjoy grand feasts, visit friends and relatives, and engage themselves in group revelries.
Ekadasi – August 7th, Tuesday
Ekadasi is an occasion which holds tremendous spiritual significance. This day is considered particularly auspicious for worshipping Lord Vishnu, the supreme God of preservation and sustenance.
Ekadasi means ‘the eleventh day’ and indicates the 11th Thithi of both, the bright fortnight of Shukla Paksha and the dark fortnight of Krishna Paksha. A month will typically have 2 Ekadasis and a year, 24.
Observance of Ekadasi Vrat is the most important activity of this day. People keep fast throughout the day and devote the occasion to prayers and religious pursuits. Also, different Ekadasis have different significances and can bestow unique benefits to devotees by the observance of specific activities. The first Ekadasi of August 2018 comes on a Tuesday, the 7th. The devout can undertake Vrats, offer prayers to the Almighty on the sacred occasion, and receive divine blessings.
Pradosham – August 9th, Thursday
The evening twilight period of a Triyodashi Thithi, the 13th lunar day, is known as Pradosham. This lasts for about 3 hours and is considered especially auspicious for worshipping Lord Shiva, the supreme God of destruction. Shiva is believed to have consumed the terrible Alahala poison for protecting the world and that time is observed as Pradosham. As per another story, the Devas approached Shiva for help through Nandi and hence, Nandi worship is also done during Pradosham.
‘Destruction of sins’ is also what the term ‘Pradosham’ means. Hence, it is believed that Shiva worship during Pradosham can relieve the devotees of all their sins. Pradosham usually occurs twice a month, and the first of those for August 2018 falls on the 9th, Thursday. People can offer prayers to Shiva during that time and get his divine blessings.
Aadi Amavasya – August 11th, Saturday
The New Moon day is known as Amavasya. A calendar cycle has 30 lunar phases in it, and these phases are called as Thithis. Amavasya is one among them, and it refers to the dark Moon Thithi when the moon is not visible in the sky. The Sanskrit word ‘Amavasya’ can mean ‘no Moon’ and also ‘dwell together.’ This day is considered auspicious for a variety of activities and especially for worshipping the ancestors.
Aadi is a sacred month and Aadi Amavasya, the New Moon day of Aadi is said to be most suitable for performing ancestral rituals like Tarpanam. It is believed that the souls of departed ancestors will readily accept the offerings made on Aadi Amavasya, get satisfied and confer their blessings on their descendants. These rituals can also help them attain salvation.
Aadi Amavasya falls on Saturday, August 11 when people can perform Tarpanam rituals and receive ancestral blessings.
Andal Jayanti – August 13th, Monday
Andal is a great saint who is believed to be the incarnation of the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi herself. She is one among the 12 Alwars, the saint devotees of Lord Vishnu. Her single-minded devotion for Vishnu was so intense that she refused to accept any mortal as her life partner. Her sheer determination melted the Lord and allowed her to merge with him. Andal is believed to have married Vishnu at the holy Srirangam temple and merged with the divine.
Andal is believed to have born in Srivilliputhur in southern Tamilnadu, on the Purva Phalguni or Pooram star day during Aadi month (July–August) and her birth anniversary is celebrated reverentially as Thiru Aadi Pooram or Andal Jayanti. This sacred occasion falls on Monday, 13th August, when people can recite her hymns, visit her shrines and offer prayers to the Goddess seeking her blessings.
Naga Chaturthi – August 14th, Tuesday
Naga Chaturthi is an occasion dedicated for snake worship.
‘Naga’ is the snake and ‘Chaturthi’ is the 4th lunar day. Our religious tradition regards snake as a divinity, and snake-worship has remained a very ancient practice in our land. Naga Chaturthi is one of the occasions for showing such reverence to the serpents. This day is observed with piety on the 4th day of Shukla Paksha, Moon’s bright fortnight in the month of Shravan (July–August). Also known as Nagula Chavithi, this falls a day before Naga Panchami, another occasion of Naga worship.
This year, Naga Chaturthi falls on Tuesday, August 14th. Devotees, especially women, observe austerities like fasting on that day and offer prayers to Snake Gods, seeking long lives for their spouses and children. They also offer milk and eggs to snake pits. It is believed that this observance can relieve them of many afflictions including those of powerful snake-planets, Rahu and Ketu.
Naga Panchami – August 15th, Wednesday
Naga Panchami is an occasion for serpent-worship that is observed on Shukla Paksha Panchami thithi, the fifth waxing Moon during the Shravan month (July–August). This very ancient festival is celebrated even from the pre-Vedic times. This sacred occasion is also known as Garuda Panchami and falls on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.
Indian tradition has always regarded snakes as divine forms. Snakes have remained as an essential part of the mythologies and closely associated with many Gods. Two among the Trinity, Vishnu and Shiva has close connection with snakes. Hence, snake-worship is considered with immense religious significance.
On Naga Panchami, people, especially the women, visit temples and offer worships to idols of snake Gods and Goddesses, seeking family welfare. Many feed snake pits and observe fasting too. It is believed that these worships can clear serpent-related afflictions and also the ill-effects of Rahu and Ketu, the malefic snake-planets.
Shasti – August 16th, Thursday
Shasti means the sixth day and denotes the 6th Thithi, the lunar day of the bright fortnight of Shukla Paksha. This day is special for Muruga worship.
Muruga is the son of the divine couple Shiva and Parvati. He fought a terrible battle with the mighty demon Surapadma and his army for five days and defeated the Asuras ultimately on the 6th day of Shasti. This day is observed in commemoration of that heroic occasion. The Lord achieved this remarkable victory in the Tamil month of Aippasi (October–November) and that day is celebrated as Skanda Shasti, the 6th day meant for Skanda (Muruga). However, that memorable event is remembered every month in the form of Shasti and is observed with piety.
Devotees undertake Vrat, the fasting, and other austerities on Shasti days for pleasing Lord Muruga. During August 2018, Shasti falls on Thursday, the 16th, when devotees can offer worship to Muruga and receive his blessings.
Vishnupati – August 17th, Friday
Vishnupati is regarded as a special occasion for worshipping Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the energy of the Lord pervades the earth during this time and that he performs miracles for the benefit of the universe. This is a highly auspicious time and is referred to as Vishnupati Punyakalam. This period prevails during Brahma Muhurta, very early in the morning and extends into the morning hours of the day.
Vishnupati occurs as and when the powerful Sun, the head of the solar family, moves into the zodiac signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. This phenomenon happens once in three months and four times a year — during the months of May, August, November, and February. In August 2018, Vishnupati occurs on Friday the 17th, when the Sun enters Leo.
It is believed that chanting Vishnu’s names during the sacred Vishnupati and offering him worship, can bless devotees with immense welfare.
Mercury Turns Direct in Cancer – August 19th, Sunday
Mercury is one of the Navagraha and considered as the Messenger planet. It is the smallest of the planets and remains closest to the Sun. Mercury is regarded as Buddhi Kararaka, the lord of intellect, and hence, is known as Budha. Mercury can bestow people with good intelligence and clear communication skills. Being the ruler of such essential areas, Mercury exercises a strong influence on humans and hence, a lot of importance is attached to the placement in a birth chart.
Mercury is in retrograde in the sign Cancer from July 26, 2018 and it turns direct in the same sign on Sunday, August 19, 2018. This may generally do good for Cancer-born. Frequent ups and downs and uncertainties may come to an end. There may be opportunities for traveling abroad, and siblings may extend a helping hand. However, there may be medical expenditure and also wasteful expenses. Worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day can enhance the positive vibrations of the planet.
Ekadasi – August 22nd, Wednesday
Ekadasi is an occasion of immense religious significance. This day is meant for the worship of Lord Vishnu, the supreme God of protection.
The term ‘Ekadasi’ denotes ‘the eleventh day’ and indicates the 11th thithi of both, Shukla Paksha, the waxing phase of the Moon and Krishna Paksha, the waning phase. Thus, there will usually be 2 Ekadasis in a month and 24, in a year.
Ekadasi Vrat is a sacred austerity observed by the devout on this day when they abstain from food and dedicate the occasion to worships and spiritual pursuits. Also, every Ekadasi holds its significance, when people perform different rituals for receiving unique benefits. The second Ekadasi of August 2018 falls on Wednesday, the 22nd. People can utilize this sacred occasion for performing Vrats and offering prayers to the Almighty, and receive divine blessings.
Pradosham – August 23rd, Thursday
The sunset time of the 13th lunar day of Triyodashi is known as Pradosham. It extends for a period of about 3 hours and is believed to be highly propitious for offering prayers to Lord Shiva. As per legends, the deadly poison Alahala emerged out of the vast ocean of milk when it was churned, and to protect the universe from its ill effects, Shiva consumed the lethal venom. That important period is observed as Pradosham. Another legend associates Nandi also with Pradosham and hence, he too is worshipped then.
Pradosham also means ‘removal of sins,’ the Pradosham worship of Shiva is believed to relieve devotees of all their karmic bondage. This typically occurs twice a month, and it is on Thursday, August 23rd that the second Pradosham of the month falls on. Shiva worship done during this time can bestow devotees with immense blessings.
Varalakshmi Vratham – August 24th, Friday
Varalakshmi Vratham is a festival celebrated in honor of Lakshmi, the supreme Goddess of wealth and prosperity, and the consort of Lord Vishnu. ‘Vara’ means boon and Vara Lakshmi is the ‘boon-bestowing Goddess,’ while ‘Vratham’ are austerities like fasting. This day is observed on a Friday, which falls just before the Purnima, Full-Moon day in the month of Shravan or Aadi–Aavani (July–August), and this year, it falls on 24th August, Friday.
Varalakshmi Vratham is a special Pooja cum fasting undertaken especially by married women, seeking the grace of the Goddess for the welfare of their spouse and family, and begetting progeny. Many install images of Lakshmi in their homes, observe fasting, perform rituals and offer prayers to her. It is believed that Varalakshmi Vratham worship amounts to propitiating all the eight forms of Lakshmi, and it can fulfill wishes and bless people with health, wealth, prosperity and fortune.
Onam – August 24th, Friday
Onam is the traditional festival of Kerala. It commemorates the annual visit of the Asura king Mahabali to the country and also celebrates Vamana, the dwarf avatar of Lord Vishnu. It falls on the Malayalam month Chingam (August–September) and in 2018, this is observed on a Friday, August 24th.
Mahabali was a mighty and generous demon, who was however quite arrogant and tried to overrun heaven. As per legends, Vishnu decided to put him in place, came to him as Vamana, a young, short-statured mendicant, outwitted him and sent him down to the netherworld. However, the Lord was also merciful and gave Mahabali, the boon, thanks to which the ruler visits his land every year. His subjects in the form of Onam festival give him a grand welcome.
Onam involves many days of grand celebrations in Kerala, which include worships, feasts and festivities like flower arrangements, boat races, and cultural events
Nataraj Abhishekam – August 25th, Saturday
Nataraja is Lord Shiva in his divine dancing form. He is Nata Raja, the king of dance. He imparts superior wisdom through his very posture, while his dance stands for all the core functions of the universe, from creation to salvation. This is also known as Ananda Thandavam, the dance of bliss, and is believed to take place at Thillai, the holy Chidambaram.
Nataraja Abishekam is the holy bath given to the deity. This is performed only on six sacred occasions in a year when the energy of the Lord is said to become most potent on earth. These days are spread across all the six seasons of the year, while the Abishekam are also conducted at six different times of the day, from dawn to night. This ritual involves the ceremonial soaking of the idol of Nataraja by gently pouring water and other liquid items like milk, curd, ghee, tender coconut amidst the chanting of the sacred hymns. This happens in August 2018 too, on 25th, Wednesday.
Avani Avittam – August 26th, Sunday
Yajur Veda Upakarma is known as Avani Avittam when Brahmins in southern states renew their sacred threads. This is a religious ceremony observed on Shravan Purnima, the Full Moon day of Shravan (July–August). This also happens to be the Avittam (Dhanishta) star day during the Tamil months Aadi–Aavani, and hence, is also called Avani Avittam.
Rituals are done on this day for expressing our gratitude and offering prayers to the great sages, who give the Vedic Mantras of immense wisdom to humanity. The rituals begin with a purification ceremony, followed by Tarpanam offerings to the Vedas, sages and other sacred texts like Upanishads, using rice grains, sesame seeds, and water. Some perform the fire rituals too. People also observe fast till the completion of the ceremonies, after which, they touch the feet of elders and take blessings.
This day is also observed as Hayagriva Jayanti, while Raksha Bandhan festival is celebrated in the northern parts of the country.
Hayagriva Jayanti – August 26th, Sunday
The day of the advent of Lord Hayagriva is observed as Hayagriva Jayanti. Hayagriva is a unique horse-faced Lord, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and remains as an embodiment of intelligence and wisdom. Hayagriva Jayanti is observed on the Purnima Full Moon day, in the month of Shravan (July–August) and falls on August 26th, Sunday.
As per the legend, once, mighty demons Madhu and Kaitabha stole the Vedas from Brahma, which was essential for creation. It was Lord Vishnu who then took the man–horse Hayagriva Avatar, fought a terrible battle with the Asuras, slew them and restored the Vedas to Brahma, for the good of the universe.
Hayagriva is regarded as the Lord who would bestow good intellect and higher learning, and as the guardian deity would ward-off evil. On his birth anniversary, devotees chant hymns in his praise and offer worship to him at homes and in temples. Brahmins perform the sacred thread ceremony, while the Rakshabandhan festival is also celebrated on this day.
Rakshabandhan – August 26th, Sunday
Rakshabandhan is a very popular festival that celebrates the sacred bond between a brother and a sister and acknowledges their selfless love for each other. This occasion falls on Shravan Purnima, the Full Moon day of the Shravan month (July–August). In the current year 2018, this is observed on Sunday, the 26th of August.
This is an ancient festival. ‘Raksha Bandhan’ literally means the ‘bond of protection.’ This finds expression in the sisters professing their affection for the brothers on this day and they, in turn, assuring the sisters of their protection and care at all times. As per the prevalent practice, the sisters, irrespective of their age, tie a thread or amulet around the wrist of their brothers, thus, entrusting them with the responsibility of protecting them. The brothers return the love and affection, by giving the gifts or cash to their sisters. Many of them visit one another and enjoy grand feasts on this occasion.
Maha Sankatahara Chaturthi – August 30th, Thursday
Sankata Hara Chaturthi is an occasion considered especially auspicious for worshipping Lord Ganapati. ‘Sankata’ means problems and ‘Hara’ means destruction, while Chaturthi is the 4th Thithi or lunar day falling on Krishna Paksha, the dark fortnight of the Moon. Sankatahara Chaturthi is thus the sacred day meant for seeking divine help to overcome obstacles. The occasion which comes just before Ganesh Chaturthi in the month of Avani (August–September) assumes greater significance and is called Maha Sankatahara Chaturthi. This annual event falls on 30th August 2018, Thursday.
Lord Ganapati is well-known as the remover of obstacles, and hence, he is worshipped with fervor on this day. Devotees offer prayers to him in many ways, and one of them is smashing of coconuts in temples. People do this particular ritual on this occasion for overcoming difficulties, relieving themselves of the Karmic influences and for advancement in life. Many observe fasts too.