Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, that begins from the first day of the full moon in late July and ends in the third week of August, holds special significance for Hindus.
Many Hindus take to fasting during Shravan, abstaining from eating on Mondays to appease Lord Shiva. Some also observe the Mangala Gauri Vrat on Tuesdays for the Goddess Parvati.
Shravan 2019 date and time:
In 2019, Shravan starts from July 17 and will continue till August 15.
Legend and mythology
According to the Hindu scriptures, the Samudra Manthan or the churning of the ocean happened in the month of Shravan, performed by Asuras and Devas. During the great churning, 14 different rubies emerged from the ocean.
From these 14 rubies, thirteen were divided among the Devas and the Asuras, while the 14th ruby, the poisonous Halahal, had the power to destroy the whole universe.
Lord Shiva consumed the Halahal and stored it in his throat. The gemstone was so poisonous that it turned his throat blue, giving him the name Neelkantha. The Devas offered water from the holy Ganges to Lord Shiva to reduce the effects of the poison.
This is why the month of Shravana is considered auspicious to offer water from the Ganges to Lord Shiva.