Sharad Navaratri is an important Hindu festival celebrated in the honour of Goddess Durga. It is observed on the Pratipada Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashwin as per the Hindu calendar. Alternatively, it falls during the Gregorian months of September or October. As Navratri comes to an end and Hindus celebrate Dussehra also know as Vijayadashmi, we take a look at the dates of the festival next year. While Navratri 2019 began on September 29 and ended on October 7, Navratri 2020 will begin only begin on October 17. The huge difference in dates is due to the addition of an additional month in the Hindu calendar. Known as Adhik Ashwin, the month in the Hindu calendar is called inauspicious. Also called Purushottam Maas or Adhik Maas, it is an extra month in the Hindu calendar to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned. The nine-day festival will be celebrated from October 17 to October 24. And Dussehra 2020 will be observed on October 25. Navaratri 2019: The Difference Between Sharad and Chaitra Navratri Explained.
Purushottam is an epithet of Vishnu, the God to whom the month is dedicated. In 2020, Adhik Ashwin will be from September 18 to October 16. During which there will be two new moons and hence there is a 30-day gap between Pitru Paksha and Devi Paksha. Due to the phenomenon, Navrati will only begin on October 17. Last Adhik Maas was during 2018, when Adhik Jyaistha was observed from May 16 to June 13. A social media user also posted about Adhik Maas in 2020 recently on Twitter.
Check Out The Tweet Below:
So next year there’s an additional month in the Hindu Calendar, once a century phenomenon. 2 new moons added, 30 days gap between Pitru Paksh and Devi Paksh, so basically Navratri begins on my bday 17th Oct 2020 😎
— Yogini (@aanchalator) October 7, 2019
Adhik Maas is also known as and Malimmach or Mala Maas which means 'unclean month'. The month is considered inauspicious and no happy occasions are conducted during the period of time. Events like weddings, business ventures, house-warmings are not held during Purushottam Maas. It is a month meant for prayer, fasting, charity, and self-improvement.
According to Vasishtha Siddhantha (the treatise of Vasishtha), Purushottam Maas or the extra lunar month occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and eight days. In Nepal, a month-long Mela (fair) is held in Machhegaun village during this period of time. It is believed that one can wash away all their sins by taking a dip in the pond at Machhenarayan temple.