Festivals of ShaniShingnapur

In Shanishingnapur, everyday, lakhs of devotees of God Shani come for a ‘darshan’. On every Saturday, innumerable devotees come and benefit from the ‘darshan’.
On every Shani Amavashya and the Gudi Padava of every year, lakhs of devotees of God Shani benefit from the
ShriShaneshchar Jayanti, the special day of God Shani’s birthday, is celebrated with great gusto and devotion.
Every year, from ‘Chaitra Shuddha Dashami’ to ‘Chaitrya Vadya Pratipada’, continuously, the chanting of God’s name and ‘Granthraj Dnyaneshwari Parayan’ is being performed. During this period, everyday, prayers are performed as follows

a) Early in the morning from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. ‘Kakada Aart’.
b) 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. ‘Vishnu Sahastra naam’.
c) 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ‘Dnyaneshwari Vaachan’.
d) 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ‘Sangeet Bhajan’.
e) 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ‘Pravachan’
f) 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ‘ Haripaatha’ and
g) 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ‘Hari Keertan’ and ‘Jaagar’.

From 1991, on Aashadi Ekadashi of every year, from Shanishingnapur to Pandarpur, Shaneshwar Palki is taken on foot with great fanfare. In this, all the trustees and devotees participate.
Similarly, from 1991, during Ekanaathi Shashti of every year, all the trustees and devotees participate in taking Shaneshwar Palki on foot, with great fanfare, from Shanishingnapur to Paithan.

Special Occasions

Every year, Chaitra Shukla falls from the 10th to the 1st of Chaitra Vaishaka. ‘Akhanda Harinam Sapthaha, Dnyaneshwari parayana, Hari Kirtan festival.
Every year, for Ashaadi Ekaadashi, the palanquin ( ‘palakhi’) is brought from Shingnapur to Pandharpur by foot.
Every year, on Sant Eknath Shasthi, ‘Dindi sohala’takes place from Shingnapur to Paithan.

Shani Amavasya

On the Saturday of New Moon, it is known as Shaneshchari Amavasya. Normally, in a year, there will be two or three Shaneshchari Amavasya. On the Shaneshchari Amavasya in Shingnapur, there will be arrangements for the festival. From the mid- night of the Friday till the mid-night of the Saturday, prayers, offerings and ‘abhishek’ will be held. From the Devasthan (temple), a ‘Mahapuja’ will be held. For the pilgrims who come here for ‘Darshanam’, their ‘Stotra’ will be on continuously. Almost 8 to 10 lakh people come within 24 hours. Because of the immense crowd, many devotees who cannot get a glimpse of the deity from the foundation, are happy and content getting it from below itself.

The importance of Shaneshchari Amavasya lies in the fact that out of the rays of the Sun God, the main rays are called ‘Ama’. It is from the main rays of Sun God called ‘Ama’ that the Sun God gives brightness to the three worlds. In this ‘Ama’ day, especially, God Moon stays. Therefore, it is called Shani Amavasya. This Amavasya is known to give good fruits to all religions. In ‘Shradhya Karma’, this carries a lot of importance.

Shani Jayanji

This is considered as the birth day of God Shani. And this is celebrated with great devotion and happiness. This day comes on Vaishak Vadya Chaturdasi Amavasya.

On this day, the idol appears blue in colour. Five days of ‘yadnya’ and seven days of ‘bhajan- pravachan and ‘kirtan’ are held in the sweltering heat of May. On this day, the resident priest (pandit) is called and along with 11 Brahmin pandits, the ‘Laghurudraabhishek is performed. This goes on for a total of 12 hours. In the end, with the ‘Maha Puja’, the function comes to an end.

In the beginning, on this same day, The idol is cleaned with ‘panchamrut’, ‘Gangajal’, oil and water from the wells near by the idol. The water from the well is used only in the service of the idol. It is not used for the other needs of the Devastahan. After the bath, the ‘Nauratnahaar’ is placed on the idol.

Gudi Padva

‘Chaitra Shukla Pratipada’ or the first day of the Indian Calender is the good day out of 3 and ½ good days. So, devotees seeking relief from their woes, seek the ‘darshan’ of God on this day. Here, the festival begins on this day. So, the shops wear a festive look on this day. ‘Ganga Jal'( Gangodak, the confluence of Pravara and Godavari rivers) is brought by the devotees of the village in pots. Those who bring the ‘Ganga Jal’ are people who ask something from God and taken some vows for it. At least one person from every household participates in this festival. The place of the confluence is about 42 kms from Shingnapur. The ‘Ganga Jal’ is brought on bare foot.

After bringing the Ganga Jal, the people stop outside the village. Next morning, they collect gain and with the flag and chanting the devotees are brought into the village. Then God Shani is bathed in the ‘Ganga Jal’. During this stage, no other devotees are allowed near the foundation. After this, those seeking vows present the ‘prasdadam’ to other devotees.