Currently, festivals galore is ongoing in India. Balaram Jayanti is marked 6 days after celebrating the festival of Raksha Bandhan. It is observed as the birth anniversary of Lord Balaram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. In India, Hindus celebrate it as Har Chhath or Hal Sashti vrat. According to the Hindu calendar, it is observed during the month of Bhadrapada on the Shashti or the 6th day of Krishna Paksha (the waning phase of moon).
Lord Balaram’s birth is celebrated by different names in many parts of India. In Rajasthan, the festival is known as Chandra Sashti, however, Gujaratis celebrated it as Randhan Chhath. In the Braj region, it is called Baladev Chhath.
Officially known as Balaram Jayanti, the birth of Lord Balaram is being celebrated on August 21 this year. It is marked six days after Raksha Bandhan and two days ahead of Janmashtami. The sushi tithi begins at 5:30 am on August 21 and will end at 7:06 am on August 22, 2019.
The history behind the festival is that the Lord Balaram is the seventh child of Mata Devaki and Vasudev, and is worshipped as an avatar of Adhishesha, the serpent on which Lord Vishnu rests. The festival is also called Baldeva Jayanti as Balaram is known by many names like Balabhadra, Haladhara, and Halayudha. The diety is known as the god of Agriculture and strength and his main weapon is the shovel. Therefore, people who belong to the farming community worship these tools and pray for an abundant harvest.
On the other hand, the women observe fast to be blessed with a child and also for the well-being of their children. In the evening, women put together various grains like wheat, barley, moong, maize, milk-Dahi and offer in the Ganga worshipping Shashthi Devi. During worship, people offer seven kinds of grains like wheat, gram, paddy, maize, jawar, millet, and barley.