May 13, 2021 marks the auspicious event of Chandra Darshan. As per the lunar calendar, Chandra Darshan succeeds the new moon day which is known as the Amavasya.
This sighting or viewing (darshan) of the Moon or the Chandra on special days holds great importance among the Hindus. According to Hinduism, the moon is deemed as one of the significant celestial bodies that is looked up to, reverentially.
Attributed with wisdom, vibrance, purity, sensitivity, happiness, the moon is considered as a very special ‘graha’. Though the moon is a satellite of Earth, in Indian astrology it is viewed as a planet.
Chandra is also known as Soma, the ‘illustrious’ god who is one of the 9 planets (Navagraha) in Hinduism. Presiding over the nightlife, vegetation, Chandra is considered as the guardian of directions (Dikpala).
The lunar god is the father of Mercury (Budha) and has been married to 27 Nakshatras (constellations) who are daughters of King Daksha. Indian astrology attributes moon’s position in horoscopes to many advantageous outcomes in an individual’s life.
So taking into account the moon’s deep influence in our lives, according to Hindu mythology, it’s a favourable planet that can endow wealth, peace, fame. Upon being blessed by the lunar god, people thrive and succeed in all aspects of life.
Chandra Darshan Observance and Tithi:
This first day of sighting the moon is followed with ritualistic customs. The day draws its significance from the popular belief that rituals performed on this propitious day, worshipping the Moon deity, Chandra Dev; offering special prayers, make one the recipient of blessings, immense prosperity and good fortune.
Devotees carry out a strict fast for the whole day prior to the moon sighting; and break the fast only after sighting of the full moon after sunset, by drinking water, having ‘prasad’ honouring the moon god.
As a part of the ritual, people engage in making donations in the forms of clothes, grains (rice, sugar). Chandra is associated with food grains, hence the observance is carried out through giving away rice to the underprivileged.
Chandra Darshan Timings:
Moonrise : May 13, 6:42 am
Moonset : May 13, 8:27 pm
Pratipada Tithi Timing : May 12, 12:29 am – May 13, 3:06 am