Somvati Amavasya 2020: Masked devotees celebrate around India amid coronavirus - Hindustan Times
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Somvati Amavasya 2020: Masked devotees celebrate around India amid coronavirus

Prayagraj, Ujjain, Deoghar | ByAsian News International | Edited by: Alfea Jamal
Jul 20, 2020 12:43 PM IST

Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who, according to Hindu religious beliefs, is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of this universe.

The third Monday of the Hindu Sawan month marks Somvati Amavasya, and devotees celebrated with masks and social distancing in place, in most places, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Celebrations were observed all across India, including in the cities of Prayagraj, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Varanasi, Deoghar, Ujjain, to name a few.

Devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva on the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of 'Shravan', in Jabalpur, Monday, July 20, 2020.(PTI)
Devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva on the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of 'Shravan', in Jabalpur, Monday, July 20, 2020.(PTI)

Devotees celebrated in Prayagraj on the banks of the holiest river in India, the Ganga river. Speaking to ANI, Nita Devi at the banks of Ganga river said, “As a part of the ritual, I am fasting and have come here to take a dip in the Ganga. I have offered prayers asking for the long life of my husband as Parvati did for Shiva, according to Hindu beliefs.”

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“A wife offers prayers for the well being of her husband. It is believed that if a woman follows these rituals, her husband will be immortal,” said Sarita Pandey after tying a raw yarn 101 times around a Banyan tree.

Varanasi: Devotees wait amid rains to perform 'abhishek' of Lord Shiva at the Kashi Vishwanath temple on the occasion of the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of 'Shravan', in Varanasi, Monday, July 20, 2020. (PTI)
Varanasi: Devotees wait amid rains to perform 'abhishek' of Lord Shiva at the Kashi Vishwanath temple on the occasion of the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of 'Shravan', in Varanasi, Monday, July 20, 2020. (PTI)

Pandey said, “Women offer prayers for the well being and long life of their husbands.”

Prayers offered at Deoghar temple in Jharkand

Althought the Baba Baidyanath Temple in Deoghar, the holy city of Jharkhand, was closed amid the Covid pandemic, priests offered prayers while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Deepak Kumar Jha, a priest at the temple said, “We have been praying on the behalf of people who are not been able to come to the temple during the lockdown.”

Bhubaneswar: Devotees offer prayers to Lord Kharakhia Baidyanath on occasion of the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of Shravan, in Bhubaneswar, Monday, July 20, 2020. (PTI)
Bhubaneswar: Devotees offer prayers to Lord Kharakhia Baidyanath on occasion of the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of Shravan, in Bhubaneswar, Monday, July 20, 2020. (PTI)

“As taught by our elders, we have been following the ritual of prayers for years, for the goodwill of people,” he added.

Celebrations at Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple

The Bhasma Aarti was performed at Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple in the morning.

The priests wore masks and ensured social distancing as a preventive measure against COVID-19. However, the usual hustle-bustle was absent from the temple due to coronavirus outbreak which has affected the lives of people across the globe.

Patna: Hindu devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva on the occasion of the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of 'Shravan', in Patna, Monday, July 20, 2020. (PTI)
Patna: Hindu devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva on the occasion of the third 'Somwar' of the holy month of 'Shravan', in Patna, Monday, July 20, 2020. (PTI)

Shravan: History, significance

Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who, according to Hindu religious beliefs, is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of this universe.

While Lord Shiva is worshipped on Mondays throughout the year, Mondays during this particular month are considered highly significant and auspicious. The festival is celebrated predominantly in the North Indian states.

It is believed that on “sawan ke somwar” (Mondays falling in the month of Shravan), devotees observe a special fast and visit Shiva temples.

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