The month of Shravan, which is the fifth month as per the Hindu calendar, has started, and devotees of Lord Shiva are gearing up for it. During this month, which is considered highly auspicious, people fast and offer prayers on a Monday for their well being. The Sawan Somwar vrat involves a number of things that a follower has to stick by to gain what he or she has asked for. Also Read - Shravan 2020: Quotes, Wishes, Status Messages You Can Share to Celebrate The Month of Sawan

There are two ways by which the lunar month is marked, one is Purnima to Purnima and the other is Amavasya to Amavasya. In India, the first one is followed by the people in the northern region and the latter is followed by people in the southern part of the country. Also Read - Shravan 2020: When it Will Start And What Are The 7 Things You Should Avoid During This Period

There is a legend attached to the fasting that takes place on Monday, a story that involves the Samudra Manthan, which was the churning of the sea to extract the nectar of immortality. It is said that during that time, what also emerged from the sea was poison which Shiva swallowed to prevent it from spreading all over the universe. His consort Parvati on seeing him swallow the poison grabbed his neck to stop it from entering his body, and it resulted in Shiva’s throat turning blue, which in turn earned him the moniker, Neelkanth.

Devotees of Shiva dedicate the entire month to him and carry out fasts and prayers to gain his favour. They believe that fasting on a Monday will ensure they have a happy and married life or that they will get married soon. Women observe a fast on Mondays so that they will get good husbands. Many believe that if they recite the Solah Somvar Vrath, which means the 16 Fasting Mondays, they will make Shiva happy and he will bless them with prosperity and happiness.

When fasting on a Monday, devotees should abstain from eating non-vegetarian food or from drinking alcohol throughout the whole month. As per medical experts, this is good for the body as it has a detoxifying effect on the digestive system. Fasting also aids in weight loss and in rejuvenating the body and mind.

There are many who fast on a Monday and do not eat at all but drink some water. These people also stay away from food that contains onion and garlic. There are others who fast partially, meaning they will consume fruits and other vrat food like sabudana. Many follow these rituals so that Shiva grants them their wish or desire.