Tulsi Pujan Divas Date in the current year: December 25, 2022

Tulsi Pujan Divas Tulsi Pujan Divas (Tulsi Worship Day) is a relatively new Indian holiday celebrated on December 25. It was created to honor holy basil, commonly known as tulsi or tulasi, which is one of the most sacred plants in Indian culture and a popular medicinal herb in the Indian subcontinent.

Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is an aromatic perennial plant native to the Indian subcontinent. It is cultivated throughout the tropical region of Southeast Asia for religious, medicinal, and culinary purposes. Holy basil is closely related to sweet basil, but the two plants smell somewhat different: the aroma of sweet basil has more pronounced notes of anise or licorice, whereas tulsi smells more like cloves.

In Hinduism, tulsi is regarded as a manifestation of the eponymous goddess. According to some legends, Tulsi is an avatar of the goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu. In other legends, Tulsi is conflated with Vrinda, the wife of the evil demigod Jalandhara, also known as Chalantrana. Legend has it that Vishnu, who wanted to defeat Jalandhara, came to Vrinda disguised as her husband. When Vrinda realized that Vishnu had tricked her, she cursed him.

Regardless of whom exactly holy basil is associated with, it is arguably the most sacred plant in Hinduism. Because of its association with the worship of Lakshmi, tulsi is regarded as the “women’s plant” that symbolizes wifehood and motherhood. Many Hindus grow the tulsi plant in their homes or courtyards and use its leaves in religious rites, as an herbal tea, and as a medicine. All parts of the plant are considered sacred, as well as the earth in which it grows.

In addition to its religious significance, tulsi is widely used as a source of fragrant essential oil and as a treatment in traditional Indian medicinal systems, including Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen and a tonic, which helps balance the doshas. It is used to treat the common cold and sore throat, various respiratory conditions, mouth infections, inflammatory skin disorders, allergic reactions, and headaches, among other ailments.

In some parts of India, Hindus celebrate a tulsi-worshipping festival named Tulsi Vivah or Tulasi Vivaha. It is a ceremonial marriage of Tulasi (either as an avatar of Lakshmi or a reincarnation of Vrinda) to Vishnu/Krishna. The festival usually takes place around the full moon of the month of Kartik, approximately a fortnight after Diwali.

Tulsi Pujan Divas is a much more recent tradition than Tulsi Vivah. Unlike most other Hindu celebrations, it doesn’t have an ancient history. The holiday is believed to have been initiated by members of one of Indian religious movements sometime around 2014.

Although Tulsi Worship Day is considered a Hindu festival, it is celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar. The date of December 25 was probably specifically chosen to coincide with Christmas and thus distract people from a Christian celebration. On this day, people who celebrate Tulsi Pujan Divas plant holy basil, tend to the holy basil plants they already have, and perform traditional Hindu rites.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays, Other Observances

Country

India

Tags

Tulsi Pujan Divas, Tulsi Worship Day, holidays in India, unofficial observances, holy basil, tulsi, tulasi