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Agrahayana or Margashirsha [1], (Hindi: अगहन agahan, मार्गशीर्ष ) is a month of the Hindu calendar and Tamil calendar. In India's national civil calendar, Agrahayana is the ninth month of the year, beginning on 22 November and ending on 21 December. Since Vedic times, this month is known as Maargashirsha after the Nakshatra (asterisms) Mrigashirsha.

The word agrahayan means the month of ayan or equinox (agra=first + ayan = travel of the sun, equinox). The aligning of this name with the Mrigashira asterism (lambda orionis), gives rise to speculation that this name may have been given when the sun was near Orion at the time of vernal equinox, i.e. around 7000 years ago.

In lunar religious calendars, Agrahayana may begin on either the new moon or the full moon around the same time of year, and is usually the ninth month of the year.

In solar religious calendars, Agrahayana begins with the Sun's entry into Scorpio, and is usually the eighth month of the year.

Festivals

Vaikunta Ekadashi, the Ekadashi (11th day) of this month, is celebrated as 'Mokshada Ekadashi'. The 10th Canto, 22nd Chapter of Bhagavata Purana, mentions young marriageable daughters (gopis) of the cowherd men of Gokula, worshiping Goddess Katyayani and taking a vrata or vow, during the entire month of Margashirsha, the first month of the winter season, to get Lord Krishna as their husband [2].

See also

References








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