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Paksha (or pakṣa: Sanskrit: पक्ष) refers to a fortnight or a lunar phase in a month of the Hindu lunar calendar.[1][2]

Literally meaning "side",[3] a paksha is the period either side of the Full Moon Day (Purnima). A lunar month in the Hindu calendar has two fortnights, and begins with the New moon, (Amavasya). The lunar days are called tithis and each month has 30 tithis, which may vary from 20 – 27 hours. A paksha has 15 tithis, which are calculated by a 12 degree motion of the Moon. The first fortnight between New Moon Day and Full Moon Day is called "Gaura Paksha" or Shukla Paksha (lit. 'white/bright/golden side') the period of the brightening moon (waxing moon), and the second fortnight of the month is called "Vadhya Paksha" or Krishna Paksha (lit. 'dark/black side'), the period of the fading moon (waning moon).[1][4] Neemuch Panchang begin new lunar month from first day of Krishna Paksha while Gujarat Panchang begin new lunar month from first day of Shukla Paksha.[5]

Days of Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha

Shukla Paksha Krishna Paksha
1. Prathama 1. Prathama
2. Dwitiya 2. Dwitiya
3. Tritiya 3. Tritiya
4. Chaturthi 4. Chaturthi
5. Panchami 5. Panchami
6. Shashti 6. Shashti
7. Saptami 7. Saptami
8. Ashtami 8. Ashtami
9. Navami 9. Navami
10. Dashami 10. Dashami
11. Ekadashi 11. Ekadashi
12. Dwadashi 12. Dwadashi
13. Thrayodashi 13. Thrayodashi
14. Chaturdashi 14. Chaturdashi
15. Purnima 15. Amavasya, Ausi

Shukla Paksha

Shukla paksha refers to the bright lunar fortnight or waxing moon in the Hindu calendar. Shukla (Sanskrit: शुक्ल) is Sanskrit word for "white" or "bright".

Shukla Paksha (Waxing Moon period) is a period of 15 days, which begins on the Shukla Amavasya (New Moon) day and culminating Purnima (Full Moon) day and is considered auspicious[6] because it is favorable to growth or expansion on every plane of existence i.e. Mental, Physical and Spiritual Plane.

Numerous festivals are held during this period, including the Navratri festivals, most importantly Chaitra Navratri and Ashvin Navratri.

Day Tithi Festival Month
1st Day Pratipada Bali Pratipada, Govardhan Puja Kartika
2nd Day Dvitiya Bhaibeej Kartika
3rd Day Tritiya Teej Bhadrapad
3rd Day Tritiya Akshaya Tritiya Vaishakha
4th Day Chaturthi Ganesh Chaturthi Bhadrapada
4th Day Chaturthi Ganesh Jayanti Magha
5th Day Panchami Nuakhai Bhadrapad
5th Day Panchami Vivaha Panchami Margashirsha
5th Day Panchami Basant Panchami Magha
6th Day Shasthi Sitalsasthi Jyestha
9th Day Navami Rama Navami Chaitra
10th Day Dasami Vijayadashami Ashvin
11th Day Ekadasi Shayani Ekadashi Asadha
11th Day Ekadashi Vaikunta Ekadashi Margashirsha
14th Day Chaturdashi Samvatsari Bhadrapada
15th Day (Full Moon) Poornima Guru Purnima Ashada

Krishna Paksha

Krishna paksha refers to the dark lunar fortnight or waning moon in the Hindu calendar. Krishna (Sanskrit: कृष्ण) is Sanskrit for "dark". Krishna Paksha is a period of 15 days, which begins on the (Full Moon) day (Purnima), culminating on (New Moon) day (Amavasya). Krishna Paksha is considered inauspicious, as the moon loses light during this period.[4][7]

Festivals during Krishna Paksha are:

Day Tithi Festival Month
4th Day Chaturthi Karva Chauth Kartika
8th Day Ashtami Krishna Janmashtami Shraavana
13th Day Thrayodashi Dhanteras Kartika
13th Day Thrayodashi Pradosha Maagha
14th Day Chaturdashi Maha Shivaratri Maagha
14th Day Chaturdashi Naraka Chaturdashi (Diwali) Kartika

Other usages

In Vedic astrology when a person does a prasna (a question chart) and the planet Venus indicates the time period, the event referred to in the answer will happen in a pakṣa (fortnight) from the time the question was asked.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Defouw, Hart; Robert Svoboda (2003). Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India. Lotus Press. p. 186. ISBN 0-940985-69-1.
  2. Kumar, Ashwini (2005). Vaastu: The Art And Science Of Living. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 50. ISBN 81-207-2569-7.
  3. Monnier-Williams, M: (1851) Sanskrit Dictionary ISBN (none)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hindu calendar Archived 2010-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Moon Calendar
  6. Phases (Paksha) of the Moon from Rocking Baba
  7. "The Lunar Year".

External links

Template:Time measurement and standards