Tulsi Vivah (1st of November)
Tulsi Vivah is a Hindu religious observance, celebrated every year, on the 11th or 12th lunar day in the holy month of Kartik as per the traditional Hindu calendar. The appropriate time to perform this puja is during the prabhodhini ekadashi, and this year in 2017, the date of Tulsi Vivah is on the 1st of November, which is a Wednesday. On this day, the holy basil plant, known as Tulsi in Hindu culture, is ceremonially wed to God Shaligram, also known as Lord Vishnu, who as per Hindu mythology is one of their most popular deities or his other avatar Lord Krishna. This marriage known as Tulsi Vivah in Hindu culture, marks the end of the season of monsoon and the commencement of the marriage season. However, the date that this puja is performed may also vary from region to region.
All the legend associated with the holy basil plant that is Tulsi, who is believed to be a goddess and referred to as Lord Vishnu’s wife, or often, Lord Vishnu’s beloved, can be found in the scripture Padma Purana, where all the beliefs and rites to Goddess Tulsi can be known.
The rituals of Tulsi Vivah are quite similar to that of a typical Hindu wedding, and people perform these rituals either at their homes or at temples. Devotees observe a fast till late in the evening until the marriage ceremony of Tulsi with Lord Vishnu begins. A mandap is set up for the wedding, around the place where the Tulsi plant resides. The plant is decked up in a red saree, auspicious in Hindu weddings, and ornaments. A paper face is often placed on the plant, which is then adorned with traditional nose ring and bindi. On the other hand, an image of Lord Vishnu or Balaram or the Shaligram stone—black in color is placed next to Tulsi, decked in a dhoti. Both of them are bathed, decorated with garlands and flowers as the marriage between them is conducted. Both are connected with a sacred cotton thread (mala) during the ceremony. Bhajans are sung throughout the ceremony. The kanyadaan of Tulsi is mainly done by those devotees who desire to become parents soon.
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