Ramnavami : March/April
Guru Purnima : July
Shirdi Vijayadashmi (Sri Sai Punyatithi) October
are great time to visit Shirdi of Saibaba. There are three major
festivals that are held in Shirdi attracting thousands of devotees from
across the world. The three major festivals celebrated at Shirdi are
Ramnavami, Guru Purnima and Shirdi Vijayadashmi. All these festivals are
celebrated all across India with equal zest and excitement but at Shirdi
they have some other significance. All these festivals have their
special distinction to them in the way they are celebrated in the other
parts of India. The distinction is the association of Saibaba himself
which add to these festivals all new and exciting verve to them.
Ramanavi is one of the most important festivals celebrated with great
excitement and fanfare. In the year 1897 Goplarao Gund proposed holding
in Urus in name of Saibaba in gratitude of a child which he was granted
after so many childless years. Saibaba conceded to celebrate his urus on
the condition that it be celebrated on Ramnavami. This was indeed an
ingenious touch of Saibaba bringing together the Hindus and Muslims
together. People may know Urus is a Muslim festival that is celebrated
to honor a saint.
You can come to participate in Ramanavami at Shirdi, celebrated every
year in March or April. This shows the kind of communal harmony that
weaves people of different faiths at Shirdi. Ramnavami has equal and
enthusiastic participation of both Hindus and Muslims. In Shirdi, two
locally historic rituals are carried out during this festival. The sack
of wheat that is kept in Dwarkamai is changed and the old one taken to
prasadalaya to be used there, and secondly, the dwarkamai flags are
replaced. This year that is in 2007, Shirdi is celebrating the Ramnavami
from 26th to 28th of March.
Gurupurnima or Full Moon is also a wonderful time to visit Shirdi. It
is the time to honor the Guru and seek his special blessing. Quite a
significant festival in Shirdi Guru Purnima was the only festival which
Saibaba has asked his devotees to celebrate. This is the time devotees
all across the world converge in Shirdi to seek Saibaba's blessings.
There is also Vyasa Puja that is held during Guru Purnima, in honor of
Ved Vyasa who wrote the epic Mahabharata.
Vijayadashmi is a big festival in Shirdi, venerated as a holy day when
Shri Saibaba left his mortal body for heavenly abode. The festival is
also celebrated as Shri Sai Punyathithi in Shirdi attracting
great number of devotees from all over the world. Various religious
activities are arranged Great number of people flock to Shirdi during
this Festival. During this festival 'Brahman Bhojan' is arranged with
Dakashina (Donation to Guru). This year the festival is celebrated from
20th to 23rd October.