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Paksha (or pakṣa: Sanskrit : पक्ष) refers to a fortnight or a lunar phase in a month of the Hindu lunar calendar. [1] [2]


Literally meaning "side", [3] a paksha is the period either side of the Full Moon Day ( Purnima ). A lunar month in the Hindu calendar has two fortnights, and begins with the New moon, ( Amavasya ). The lunar days are called tithis and each month has 30 tithis, which may vary from 20 – 27 hours. A paksha has 15 tithis, which are calculated by a 12 degree motion of the Moon. The first fortnight between New Moon Day and Full Moon Day is called "Gaura Paksha" or Shukla Paksha, the period of the brightening moon (waxing moon), and the second fortnight of the month is called Krishna Paksha, or "Vadhya Paksha", the period of the fading moon (waning moon). [1] [4] Neemuch Panchang begin new lunar month from first day of Krishna Paksha while Gujarat Panchang begin new lunar month from first day of Shukla Paksha. [5]

Days of Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha

Shukla PakshaKrishna Paksha
1. Prathama 1. Prathama
2. Dwitiya 2. Dwitiya
3. Tritiya 3. Tritiya
4. Chaturthi 4. Chaturthi
5. Panchami 5. Panchami
6. Shashti 6. Shashti
7. Saptami 7. Saptami
8. Ashtami 8. Ashtami
9. Navami 9. Navami
10. Dashami 10. Dashami
11. Ekadashi 11. Ekadashi
12. Dwadashi 12. Dwadashi
13. Thrayodashi 13. Thrayodashi
14. Chaturdashi 14. Chaturdashi
15. Purnima 15. Amavasya, Ausi

Shukla Paksha

Shukla paksha refers to the bright lunar fortnight or waxing moon in the Hindu calendar. Shukla (Sanskrit : शुक्ल) is Sanskrit word for "white" or "bright".

Shukla Paksha (Waxing Moon period) is a period of 15 days, which begins on the Shukla Amavasya (New Moon) day and culminating Purnima (Full Moon) day and is considered auspicious [6] because it is favorable to growth or expansion on every plane of existence i.e. Mental, Physical and Spiritual Plane.

Numerous festivals are held during this period, including the Navratri festivals, most importantly Chaitra Navratri and Ashvin Navratri.

Day Tithi FestivalMonth
1st DayPratipadaBali Pratipada, Govardhan Puja Kartika
2nd DayDvitiya Bhaibeej Kartika
3rd DayTritiya Teej Bhadrapad
3rd DayTritiya Akshaya Tritiya Vaishakha
4th Day Chaturthi Ganesh Chaturthi Bhadrapada
4th DayChaturthi Ganesh Jayanti Magha
5th Day Panchami Nuakhai Bhadrapad
5th DayPanchami Vivaha Panchami Margashirsha
5th Day Panchami Basant Panchami Magha
6th Day Shasthi Sitalsasthi Jyestha
9th Day Navami Rama Navami Chaitra
10th DayDasami Vijayadashami Ashvin
11th Day Ekadasi Shayani Ekadashi Asadha
11th DayEkadashi Vaikunta Ekadashi Margashirsha
14th Day Chaturdashi Samvatsari Bhadrapada
15th Day (Full Moon)Poornima Guru Purnima Ashada

Krishna Paksha

Krishna paksha refers to the dark lunar fortnight or waning moon in the Hindu calendar. Krishna (Sanskrit : कृष्ण) is Sanskrit for "dark". Krishna Paksha is a period of 15 days, which begins on the (Full Moon) day (Purnima), culminating on (New Moon) day (Amavasya). Krishna Paksha is considered inauspicious, as the moon loses light during this period. [4] [7]

Festivals during Krishna Paksha are:

Day Tithi FestivalMonth
4th Day Chaturthi Karva Chauth Kartika
8th Day Ashtami Krishna Janmashtami Shraavana
11th Day Ekadashi Vaikunta Ekadashi Margashirsha
13th Day Thrayodashi Dhanteras Kartika
13th Day Thrayodashi Pradosha Maagha
14th Day Chaturdashi Maha Shivaratri Maagha
14th Day Chaturdashi Naraka Chaturdashi (Diwali) Kartika

Other usages

In Vedic astrology when a person does a prasna (a question chart) and the planet Venus indicates the time period, the event referred to in the answer will happen in a pakṣa (fortnight) from the time the question was asked.

See also

Related Research Articles

The Hindu calendar refers to a set of various lunisolar calendars that are traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia, with further regional variations for social and Hindu religious purposes. They adopt a similar underlying concept for timekeeping based on sidereal year for solar cycle and adjustment of lunar cycles in every three years, however also differ in their relative emphasis to moon cycle or the sun cycle and the names of months and when they consider the New Year to start. Of the various regional calendars, the most studied and known Hindu calendars are the Shalivahana Shaka found in South India, Vikram Samvat (Bikrami) found in Nepal, North and Central regions of India, Tamil calendar used in Tamil Nadu – all of which emphasize the lunar cycle. Their new year starts in spring. In contrast, in regions such as Kerala, the solar cycle is emphasized and this is called the Malayalam calendar, their new year starts in autumn, and these have origins in the second half of the 1st millennium CE. A Hindu calendar is sometimes referred to as Panchanga (पञ्चाङ्ग).

<i>Tithi</i> Aspect of Vedic timekeeping

In Vedic timekeeping, a tithi is a [duration of two faces of moon that is observed from earth], or the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the Moon and the Sun to increase by 12°. In other words, a tithi is a time-duration between the consecutive epochs that correspond to when the longitudinal-angle between sun and moon is an integer multiple of 12°. Tithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 19 to approximately 26 hours.


A panchānga is a Hindu calendar and almanac, which follows traditional units of Hindu timekeeping, and presents important dates and their calculations in a tabulated form. It is sometimes spelled Pancanga, Panchanga, Panchaanga, or Panchānga, and is pronounced Panchānga. Pachangas are used in Jyotisha.


Chaitra is a month of the Hindu calendar.

Jyeshtha or Jyēṣṭha is a month of the Hindu calendar. In India's national civil calendar, Jyestha is the third month of the year. Known as Joishtho in Bengali, it is the second month of the Bengali calendar.

Bhadra or Bhadrapada or Bhaado or Bhadraba is a month of the Hindu calendar that corresponds to August/September in the Gregorian calendar. In India's national civil calendar, Bhadra is the sixth month of the year, beginning on 23 August and ending on 22 September. In Vedic Jyotish, Bhadra begins with the Sun's entry into Virgo, and is usually the fifth month of the year.

Vikram Samvat and also known as the Vikrami calendar, is the historical Hindu calendar in the Indian subcontinent. It is the official calendar of Nepal. In India it is used in several states. The calendar uses lunar months and solar sidereal years.


Amāvásyā is the lunar phase of the New moon in Sanskrit. Indian calendars use 30 lunar phases, called tithi in India. The dark moon tithi is when the Moon is within the 12 degrees of angular distance between the Sun and Moon before conjunction (syzygy). The New Moon tithi is the 12 angular degrees after syzygy. Amāvásyā is often translated as new moon since there is no standard term for the Moon before conjunction in English.

Ēkādaśī ("Eleventh"), also spelled as Ēkādaśi, is the eleventh lunar day (tithi) of each of the two lunar phases which occur in an vedic calendar month - the Shukla Pakṣa and the Kṛṣṇa Pakṣa .. It is according to the Vedic medical texts of Ayurveda and is mentioned in detail in many original treatises such as Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita.

Chaturthi, is the fourth day (Tithi) of any lunar month in the Hindu calendar.

Pradosha vrata is a Hindu vrata for the worship of Shiva and Parvati. The Pradosha worship is done in the evening twilight or sandhya kala on the Trayodashi of both lunar fortnights. These are the 13th tithi, or lunar days, from the New Moon (Amavasya) and Full Moon (Poornima).

Upākarma "Beginning", also called Āvaṇi Aviṭṭam, Āvaṇi Aviṭṭam, Janivārada Huṇṇime, Gahmā Pūrṇimā, Jaṁdhyāla Paurṇami is a Vedic ritual practiced by Hindus of the Brahmin caste. This ritual is also practiced by the Kshatriya and Vaishya community, who are dvijas and therefore have the rights to do Sandhyavandanam, the daily ablution ritual.

Panchami is the fifth day (tithi) of the fortnight (paksha) in Hindu lunar calendar.

This article lists the traditional festivals and other cultural events in the Odisha region of India.

Shashthi also referred to as Chhath is the sixth day or tithi of a Paksha or fourteen-day phase of the moon. The word comes from the Sanskrit cardinal ṣaṣ (six), whence the ordinal number (linguistics) ṣaṣṭha (sixth), fem. ṣaṣṭhī. The sixth tithi, especially in the waxing period (shuklapaksha), is important in several rituals including:

In the Hindu calendar, Chaturdashi is the 14th day (Tithi) of the waxing phase or waning phase of the moon. This is the day prior to new moon (Amavasya) or full moon (Pournami). It has a great significance to Bengalis, as goddess Tara appeared to rishi vasistha on this tithi.

Pitri Paksha is a 16–lunar day period in Hindu calendar when Hindus pay homage to their ancestor (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. The period is also known as Pitru Paksha/Pitr-Paksha, Pitri Pokkho, Sorah Shraddha, Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara Paksha.

Dwadashi is the twelfth lunar day (Tithi) of the shukla (bright) or krishna (dark) fortnight, or Paksha, of every lunar month in the Hindu calendar.

Pūrṇimā is the word for full moon in Sanskrit. The day of Purnima is the day (Tithi) in each month when the full moon occurs, and marks the division in each month between the two lunar fortnights (paksha), and the Moon is aligned exactly in a straight line, called a syzygy, with the Sun and Earth. Full moon is considered the third of the four primary phases of the Moon; the other three phases are new moon, first quarter moon, and third quarter moon. The full moon shows 100% illumination, causes high tides, and can concur with lunar eclipses.

Here is a list of glossary of Culture of India in alphabetical order:


  1. 1 2 Defouw, Hart; Robert Svoboda (2003). Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India . Lotus Press. p.  186. ISBN   0-940985-69-1.
  2. Kumar, Ashwini (2005). Vaastu: The Art And Science Of Living. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 50. ISBN   81-207-2569-7.
  3. Monnier-Williams, M: (1851) Sanskrit Dictionary ISBN (none)
  4. 1 2 Hindu calendar Archived 2010-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Moon Calendar
  6. Phases (Paksha) of the Moon from Rocking Baba
  7. "The Lunar Year".