Saturday, September 25, 2010

India Panchang

Panchang also spoken as Panchangam is made up of two Sanskrit words, 'panch' (five) and 'ang' (aspect.) The five aspects of panchang are Vara (solar day), Tithi(lunar day), Nakshatra (star), Yoga (connection of planets) and Karana (half of a lunar day). The Indian Panchang is one of the ancient, spiritual, scientific and the traditional Hindu Vedic calendar system based on the positions of the planets, the sun, the stars and the moon. A year consists of 12 lunar months of around 29 days and 12 hours each. It acts a time management system as the timings in the panchang can be used to one’ s advantage for example it can tell which is the best time to buy or sell property or to launch a new product etc.

The panchang is consulted before any auspicious moment in Hindu traditions like the marriage, the education and journeys. To furnish astronomical information and forthcoming religious events, the panchang is used by astrologers as well as the priests of a temple. The panchang contains important date of events and holy festivals in India. It reflects India's culture belonging to all the religions including Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and fairs and festivals of the year.

Nearly all the festivals are depicted and shown with a colorful image. Panchangs of today’s era include Gregorian (Western) calendar information also. It includes all the details on a day ranging from the personal fortune, tithi information (moon day name, Shuklapaksh and Krishnapaksh), the moon cycles, the full moons or purnima, the new moon or amavasya, lunar month days, to the list of festivals and holy festivals of that day, Vikram Samwat and Saka Samwat and a list of government gazetted holidays.

A panchang also shows the pradosh vrat or fast of the year (pradosh vrat belongs to the worship of Lord Shiva, observed on the trayodashi or troydashi of both the fortnight - Shukla and Krishna Paksh), the ekadashi of the year (ekadashi usually comes on the 11th day of the bright half known as Shukla Paksha and on the 11th of the dark half known as Krishna Paksh), Ganesha and Vinayak Chaturti.

As the world has been divided into many timezones, and the hindu festivals and tithis are observed according to local sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset, these observations tend to be different for every city. Hence, panchang for every city will be different and the persons who want to use the same Indian panchang outside the country should have a different panchang according to their time zones.

The panchang has been there since five thousand years of Indian civilization. Although the government of India uses officially the Gregorian calendar introduced by British in India, the panchang is used by most people.

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