|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
Chaitra (Devanagari: चैत्र chaitra, Gujarati:ચૈત્ર chaitra, Bengali:চৈত্র (see Choitro), Assamese:চ'ত Kannada"ಚೈತ್ರ","Chaitra", Telugu:చైత్రము chaitramu Tamil: சித்திரை chithirai, Malayalam: ചൈത്രം chaitram) is a month of the Hindu calendar.
In India's national civil calendar Chaitra is the first month of the year while it is the last month of the year in Nepali calendar where Baisakh is the first month. With the calendar reforms, it coincides with the northern spring equinox on March 20.
In the more traditional reckoning, the first month commences in March or April of the Gregorian Calendar, depending upon whether the lunar or solar system is used. There is no fixed date in Gregorian calendar for 1st day of Chaitra, i.e., the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
It is the last month in the Bengali calendars (the Bônggabdo), where it is called Choitro (Bengali: চৈত্র). It commences in mid-March. It is also the last month in the Nepalese calendar (the Bikram Sambat), where it commences in mid-March. Chitterai is the first month in the Tamil calendar and starts in mid-April.
The month of Chaitra is also associated with the coming of Spring, since Holi, the spring festival of colour, is celebrated on the eve of Chaitra (namely, the last day of Phalgun month). Exactly 6 days after which the festival of Chaiti Chhath is observed.
In lunar religious calendars, Chaitra begins with the new moon in March/April and is the first month of the year. The first of Chaitra – is celebrated as New Year's Day, known as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Chaitrai Vishu or Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Other important festivals in the month are; Ram Navami, the birth anniversary of Lord Ram celebrated on the 9th day of Chaitra, and Hanuman Jayanti that falls on the last day (purnima) of Chaitra. In Bengal people celebrate Charak Puja.
Chaitra is considered to be a very auspicious month in which the creation of the universe was started.
"Chaitra" can also be used as a name, with the meaning of "Spring" or "Aries Sign"
Chaitramasi jagadbrahma sasarju prathamehaani
Shukla paksha samagranthu thadaa suryodaye sathi
Pravarthayaamaasa thatha kaalasya gananaamapi
Grahantaaraan ruthoonmaasaan wathsaraanwathsaraadhipaan
According to the Sloka Chaturvarga Chintamani, Lord Brahma created the universe on the first day of Shukla paksha (first fortnight / first half of the month) in the month of Chaitra. He also gradually included planets, stars, ruthu (seasons), years and lords of years.
In this month, the fifteen days in Shukla paksha are dedicated to fifteen deities. Each day of the month is dedicated to a different god.
|Shukla Paksha||Krishna Paksha|
|1. Prathama||1. Prathama|
|2. Dwitiya||2. Dwitiya|
|3. Tritiya||3. Tritiya|
|4. Chaturthi||4. Chaturthi|
|5. Panchami||5. Panchami|
|6. Shashti||6. Shashti|
|7. Saptami||7. Saptami|
|8. Ashtami||8. Ashtami|
|9. Navami||9. Navami|