The month of Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar beginning from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month of the Chaturmas. On Purnima or full moon day, or during the course of the month the star \'Shravan\' rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan. This month is spread out with innumerably religious festivals and ceremonies and almost all the days of this month are auspicious.
Shravan is considered the holiest month of the year. Each Monday of this month, known as Shravana Somvar, is a special day in Shiva temples where the dharanatra hangs over the lingam or the idol to bathe it with holy water, day and night. Devotees pile the lingam high with Bel leaves and flowers and fast till sunset. The nandadeep (24 hour lamp) burns steadily in the temples.
The legend says that when the churning of oceans - Samudra Manthan - took place in the month of Shravan, fourteen different types of rubies came out. Thirteen of these were distributed amongst the demons, except Halahal (poison). Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva.
Lord Shiva and Shravan Maas
Shravan Somvara Vrat (Monday fasting on Shravan month)
One of the name of Lord shiva is soma - saha uma. For the Lord someshvara Who wears the soma, the moon crescent on the matted hair, on the somavara day (Monday), this festival is observed.
Though all Mondays can be observed as vrat there are special mondays when it is much more emphasised to observe like the shravan Somvar and karthikai somavar. According to skandha purana, on the Mondays of the month karthikai (mid Nov to mid Dec) this vrata is observed.
Way of observing
After taking bath pray to the Auspicious and Graceful Lord Shiva. Anointing the Lord with panchamritam and other pleasant substances, hail the Lord offering bilva leaves. During the day don\'t take any solid food. U can take Milk/ buttermilk/ fruit juice/ fruits. After 6\'o clock in the evening pray to Lord Shiva and break your fast and eat normal solid food (avoid onions and garlic) . Your fasting should start from 12 in the midnight and ends at in the evening on Monday. It is believed that one who fasts on all Mondays of Shravan has all prayers from the heart answered. It is not necessary to undergo rigid practices. Even for this fast, different people may have different practises....e.g. some people may not have buttermilk or some may have specific mantras to be chanted. You can follow whatever gives you a peace of mind.
Significance of Shravan Weekdays
Each day in the month of Shravan has a special significance and has its own ritual.
Monday: is the day of Lord Shiva worship.
Tuesday: Gauri is worshipped in every home, by women for the good health of their family.
Wednesday: are dedicated to Vithala, a form of Vishnu or Krishna.
Thursday: are also days for worshipping Buddh and Guru.
Friday: every home worships Lakshmi and Tulsi.
Saturday: are for Saturn (Shani). It is also known as Shravan Saturdays, with the object of obtaining wealth. These days are known as Sampat Sanivara (wealth Saturdays).
Festivals in Shravan Month
During this month people practice many rules and regulations while praying and also fast. Shravan has a special importance as it ushers in a host of auspicious days and festivals like: