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Hala Shashthi FESTIVALS

It is also known as Balram Shashthi, and is observed on the sixth day of the dark half of Bhadra. Balram, the elder brother of Krishna, was born on this day. Our scriptures say that Vishnu took two hairs, a white and another black, and these became Balram and Krishna, the sons of Devaki. As soon as Balram was born, he was carried away to Gokul to preserve his life from the tyrant Kansa, and he was brought up there as the child of Rohini. He and Krishna grew together and took active part in many adventures which included the killing of many demons. He was the preceptor of the both Bhima and Duryodhana. He had refused to side either with the Pandavas or the Kauravas in the great war of Mahabharata. Balram died just before Krishna, as he sat under a Banyan tree in the outskirts of Dwarka

Balram’s weapon was a plough, so the day commemorating his birth is called Hala (Plough) Shashthi. On this day, fast is kept by the women to ensure happiness, prosperity and longevity to their sons and only the milk curd of buffalo is taken. The plough is also worshipped on this day. This fast, primarily a rural affair, is observed with much enthusiasm in northern India.

After morning ablutions, a small piece of ground is sanctified and plastered with cow dung and a tiny water pool is dug in it and then the branches of ber (jujube plum), gular (a king of fig tree), and palash ( Butea Frondosa) are planted there in and worshipped.

Unmarried girls observe the Chandra Shashthi on this day, and fast which is terminated with the worship and offering of water to the rising moon in the night.