Holidays and Regular Observances

What are some of the regular monthly religious observances?

The Hindu sense of sacred time presents an enormous array of possibilities, depending on various combinations of astrological phenomena, auspicious days of the week, and associations of times with particular deities. Different days in both dark and bright fortnights of each lunar month carry generic spiritual values. Most sacred is the eleventh day, while the first, fourth, ninth, and fourteenth are inauspicious. Some days are consecrated to different deities. More high occasions fall during the bright than during the dark half. During one half (both halves in some months and/or regions) the fourth day belongs to Ganesha, the eighth to Durga, the ninth and eleventh to Vishnu (a solar deity), and the thirteenth to Shiva (a lunar deity). New-moon days find some Hindus offering meals to placate the spirits of the dead. Many of these monthly or semimonthly occasions include a fast. Most Hindus observe only some of these special days, depending on their sectarian affiliation.


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