This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)
In the standard Hindu calendar and India's national civil calendar, Chaitra is the first month of the year. It is the last month in the Bengali calendar, where it is called Choitro. Chaitra or Chait is also the last month in the Nepali calendar (the Vikram Samvat), where it commences in mid-March. Chithirai is the first month in the Tamil calendar. In the Sindhi calendar, this month is referred to as Chet and is marked by the celebration of the Cheti Chand (birth of Jhulelal, an incarnation of Vishnu). In the Vaishnava calendar, Vishnu governs this month.
In the more traditional reckoning, the first month commences in March or April of the Gregorian calendar, depending upon whether the Purushottam Maas (extra month for alignment of lunar or solar calendar) was observed in the year. There is no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar for the 1st day of Chaitra, i.e., the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
Hindi and Marathi: चैत्र chaitra, Gujarati: ચૈત્ર chaitra, Rajasthani: चेत chet, Punjabi: ਚੇਤ cēt, Bengali: চৈত্র Choitro, Assamese: চ’ত sot, Odia: ଚୈତ୍ର Chaitra, Kannada: ಚೈತ್ರ Chaitra, Telugu: చైత్రము chaitramu, Tamil: சித்திரை chithirai, Malayalam: ചൈത്രം chaitram.
The month of Chaitra is also associated with the coming of spring. Holi, the spring festival of colour, is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) of Phalguna, the month before Chaitra, exactly 6 days after which the festival of Chaiti 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: Chaitra Navratri, Ram Navami- the birth anniversary of Lord Ram- celebrated on the 9th day of Chaitra, and Hanuman Jayanti, which falls on the last day (Purnima) of Chaitra. In Bengal, people celebrate Charak Puja. The world-famous "chithirai thiruvizha", which is held on the banks of Vaigai, is held during this month in Madurai.
The full moon day of Chaitra is known as "chithira pournami" in Tamil, which is an auspicious day for Amman.
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, the god 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, rithu (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. Pratipada||1. Pratipada|
|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|
|10. Dashami||10. Dashami|
|11. Ekadashi||11. Ekadashi|
|12. Dwadashi||12. Dwadashi|
|13. Thrayodashi||13. Thrayodashi|
|14. Chaturdashi||14. Chaturdashi|
|15. Purnima||15. Amavasya|