For Hindus, the Shravan month which falls in July-August is considered to be the most auspicious month. During this month, devotees all over the world, worship Lord Shiva. They fast every Monday till the sixteenth Monday. This is also known as Solah Somvar. Devotees visit Shiv temples and offer water and milk to the Shivling.
Shravan is the fifth month of the solar year and sets in when the Sun enters the astrological house of Leo. The month has been named Shravan because of the Shravan Nakshatra, which is the birth star of Lord Vishnu. It is said that during this month, the universe is charged with Shiva tattvas. This purifies the body, the mind, and the soul. Shravan month is the most auspicious time to worship Lord Shiva.
There are some legends associated with the Shravan month. According to one legend, Goddess Parvati observed a month-long fasting with severe penance to attain Lord Shiva as her consort. Lord Shiva was so moved by her devotion that he married her and made her his consort. Another legend takes us to the Samudra Manthan. Lord Shiva drank the poison (halahal) that came out during the Samudra Manthan or churning of the ocean. The halahal that was churned out had the ability to destroy the world. Lord Shiva, in order to save everyone, drank the poison and stored it in his throat. This is why his throat turned blue and he is known as Neelkanth. Devas and Asuras both offered him the holy water of Ganga so that the harmful effect of the poison can be reduced.
Shravan fast is especially observed by unmarried girls who desire a good husband. Just like Goddess Parvati, they fast on Shravan somvaar. This ritual is known as Gai Brat or Gopooja. Every day of the week has a special significance during Shravan month. Mondays are for worshipping Lord Shiva. On Tuesdays, Gauri is worshipped by women for the health and prosperity of the family. Wednesdays are dedicated to the worship of Vithala, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. On Thursdays, Buddh and Guru are worshipped. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on Fridays. Shani or Saturn is worshipped on Saturdays to attain wealth. Sundays are for worshipping Surya Dev or Sun God.
The Shravan month is considered to be very holy and a lot of auspicious festivals are held during this month, like Naag Panchami, Rakshabandhan, and Janmashtami. This month is also considered to be a shubh aarambh for important work and ceremonies. Devotees fast during this month to please Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are easily pleased during this time and bless their devotees with a prosperous and blissful life. Some devotees also take Kanwar Yatras during this time. People wear saffron clothes and walk in large groups carrying pots on their shoulders with a lathi. These people are called kanwariyas, and the pots they carry are called kanwars.
They fill these pots with Ganga water and walk to a temple. There are many temples across India however, the most famous spot for these Kanwariyas is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Benaras, and Babadham in Deoghar. They walk hundreds of kilometers to pour the Ganga water on the Shivaling.
Lord Shiva blesses his devotees with salvation. He is known to be the destroyer of Kama, Krodha, Moha, Lobha, and Mada. Since Lord Shiva is known as the God of Destruction, he destroys all these qualities that bind us to this illusionary world. He purifies the soul and body and opens up the path to moksha.