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Bhadra – Meaning, Introduction, Significance and Festivals

Puja offerings

Bhadrapada is the 6th Lunar month and one of the most auspicious month of the Hindu calendar. Bhadra refers to the period ranging from the first Purnima that happens to be the full moon to the next Purnima. The month begins on the new moon that appears in August/September. People consider this an ideal period to go on pilgrimages and donate to charity to appease deities.

The Bhadra Month

In several regions of India, the Bhadrapada Mahina begins in the 2nd week of September and ends with Mahalaya Amavasya. This complete period is the period of Pitru Paksha and is one of the main holidays in Maharashtra. According to the Purnimanta calendar, the period ranges from the first Purnima to the next Purnima. Major parts and states of North India follow this Lunar calendar.

The Amanta calendar is a Lunar calendar that all South Indian states follow. This month ends on no moon day ranging from Amavasya to Amavasya.

Bhadra Month Significance and Pitru Paksha

This is the 16-day Lunar period of the Hindu calendar where Hindus should pay homage to their ancestors. Hindus most often do this through food offerings. This is also the period when Hindus perform the death ceremonies like Shraddha and Tarpan. It falls during the second paksha of Bhadrapada and ends with the no moon day.

Men performing Pitru Paksha during Mahalay Amavasya on Bhadra maasa
Pitru Paksha during Mahalay Amavasya

What to Avoid?

During the month of Bhadra, you need to take precautions and refrain from certain habits. You should also lead a simple lifestyle to derive maximum results.

Bhadrapada is “Shunya masa” or the zero month. Hence, it’s very important to avoid certain food. You should also avoid performing auspicious ceremonies. These include:

  • Never perform ceremonies including marriages and housewarming
  • Lead a simple life and avoid spicy foods including non-vegetarian food
  • Don’t sleep on luxurious and fancy beds
  • Eat simple food that is close to nature and also sit on the ground to eat
  • You should also exclude jaggery and oil from your food
  • You also have to prepare your own home food and avoid eating food from others

What You Can Include?

Your meal should be balanced and should consist of Panchagavya. This is a combination of cow products including milk, curd and ghee.

You should also induce patience and discipline into your life to taste success and create an overall balance.

Men offering Tarpan during Pitru Paksha Rituals marking bhadra month
Tarpan during Pitra Paksha Ceremony

Bhadra Month Importance and the Festivals

The month of Bhadra has several auspicious festivals. Some follow the North Indian calendar and the others, the South Indian calendar. People celebrate these festivals with great pomp and make charitable offerings too. These include:

Krishna Janmashtami

This festival commemorates the birth of Lord Krishna, who happens to be the eighth incarnation of the Dashavatara.

Kajari Teej

This comes during the third part of Shukla Paksha, immediately after Hariyali Teej.

Aja Ekadashi

This auspicious day is one of the 24 ekadashis that people observe to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

Dahi Handi

Famous in Maharashtra and Goa, this is a sporting festival and event. It follows the day after Krishna Jamashtami.

The grand celebration of Dahi Handi during Bhadra
Dahi Handi Fest

Gayatri Japam

Men observe the famous Upakarma and follow it up with Shravani Upakarma day. This day, they perform the Gayatri Japam.

Hartalika Teej

This auspicious festival appears a month after Hariyali Teej. The celebrations, very often, come one day before Ganesh Chaturthi.

Ganesh Chaturthi

The most famous festival in Maharashtra during Bhadra, Ganesh Chaturthi marks the worshipping Lord Ganesha. Devotees also worship him as the god of prosperity, wisdom and good fortune.

Rishi Panchami

This is a fasting day women observe and pay obeisance to the Sapta Rishis. They observe this day to get purified from Rajaswala Dosha.

Radha Ashtami

Celebrating the birth of Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna, this festival shows that phrase of his life among the cowherds of Vrindavana.

Parsva Ekadashi

One of the twenty-four ekadashis, this day marks the occasion where devotees observe to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

Ganesh Visarjan

The immersion of the idol of Ganesha into the water takes place often in lakes or ponds on the completion of a large procession.

The grandeur of Ganesh Visarjan celebrations during bhadra month
Ganesh Visarjan in Surat

Vamana Jayanti

This auspicious occasion during Bhadra marks the birth anniversary of Lord Vishnu. Vamana was the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Mahalakshmi Vrat

The Shukla Ashtami of the Bhadrapada month celebrates Mahalakshmi Vrat. It comes after four days of Ganesha Chaturthi.

Anant Chaturdashi

Devotees consider this day to be the most auspicious day to worship Lord Vishnu. Devotees of Lord Vishnu also observe a day-long fast and worship him in Anant form. They also tie sacred threads.

Durva Ashtami

People observe this vrat during the Shukla Paksha Ashtami in Bhadra month. Most often, women observe Durva Ashtami.