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Harishayani Ekadashi today

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KATHMANDU — Devotees of Hindu faith are observing Harishayani Ekadashi in the country today.

They also observe one of the most significant fasts on this Day dedicated to Lord Vishnu, regarded as the creator of the universe.

Ekadashi or the eleventh lunar day of shukla paksha or the bright fortnight of the month of Ashar is marked by rituals as worshipping Lord Bishnu, reciting Holy Scriptures relating to Lord Bishnu, singing Lord Bishnu-oriented hymns among others.

The Day also marks the commencement of Chaturmas, the holy period of four months from month of Ashar and Kartik in the Lunar calendar when Lord Bishnu goes to sleep on cosmic ocean of milk, Ksheer Sagar, on Sesh Naag until Hari Bodhini Ekadashi.

As the Hindu belief suggests, he wakes up to Prabodhini Ekadashi.

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Nepal Calendar Determination Committee Prof Dr Ram Chandra Gautam told RSS that the basil saplings are planted on this day and worshipped ritualistically for next four months.

It is believed that by worshiping the oxygen-rich plant basil, the Lord Bishnu grants his devotees their wishes.

Of the total 24 Ekadashi in the lunar calendar in a year, the Ekadashi in month of Asar and Kartik are the most significant ones, shared Dr Gautam.

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Shree Panchami today

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KATHMANDU — Shree Panchasmi also known as Basanta Panchami or Saraswoti Puja, was observed across the country by worshipping Saraswoti, the Goddess of knowledge, wisdom, learning, art, music and culture, on Monday.

Shree Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Magh every year according to the Nepali calendar.

The festival is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the bright half of the Nepali month of Magh. People from the Hindu and Sikh communities mainly in Nepal and eastern India observe this festival.

The festival is taken as the symbol of an advent of the spring season as plants start sprouting; winter crops like barley and wheat plants and plum, pear and peach trees start yielding and many flowering plants start blooming with this.

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The day is very special for students and new learners. Students take early bath, observe the mass Saraswati Puja in schools and visit temples and listen to the Basanta Shrawran. Goddess Saraswati is worshiped with various names such as Bharati, Sharada, Jagatmata, Bageshwari, Kaumari, Baradayani and Kamdhenu.

It is believed that from this day, the sun starts moving to the northern hemisphere, causing longer days and signalling the beginning of spring season.

Marriage ceremonies and other religious functions are also performed on this day as the day is believed to be auspicious. Legend has it that reciting and listening to verses about goddess Saraswati on this day enriches knowledge.

The festival is considered as the best day of starting something new in human life and make a commitment to good causes.

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