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Why Hindu Month Margashirsha Is Known As Agrahayana?

The month Margashirsha (November – December) is the 9th month in a traditional Hindu lunar calendar and it is also known as Agrahayana or Agrahayani. The word ‘agrahayana’ means beginning of a year. Mahabharata (Anusasanaparva 106.17-30) gives the hint that in ancient times the year began with the Margashirsha month. Al Beruni (1030 CE), traveler, also has mentioned about this.

It is believed that in ancient times people used to sleep very high above the ground on a high cot to avoid snake bites. They used to sleep high above the ground starting from Shravan month (July – August) – the start of monsoon season. People used to come to sleep on the ground only in Margashirsha month.

Special pujas and mantras were chanted to avoid snake bites in the month. Milk and milk pudding was offered to snakes to make sure they did not harm people. The houses were given a new coat of painting in this month.