Sheetla Saptami is a Hindu festival celebrated across India and Goddess Sheetla is worshipped on this day. This festival is celebrated on the seventh day (Saptami) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the Hindu month of Chaitra, which falls in March or April according to the Gregorian calendar. In some places, this vrat is observed in the month of Shravan (August – September).
Sheetla Saptami is a festival that is dedicated to Maa Sheetla. Sheetla Devi is the incarnation of Maa Durga and Maa Parvati. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Sheetla symbolises the healing power of nature. On this auspicious occasion, Devotees worship Maa Sheetla to protect their children and family members from sufferings inflicted due to diseases like smallpox, infectious diseases and other skin diseases.
Sheetla Saptami is the only fast in Hinduism in which stale food is eaten. That is why this festival is also known as Basora (Basoda). Basora refers to stale food. Fresh food is not cooked at home on this day. Food items are prepared and kept a day in advance, then on the second day in the morning, that is, on the day of Sheetla Saptami, after the worship of Sheetla Mata, all the family members of the house eat that stale food.
Sheetla Saptami fast is observed twice a year. The first is celebrated in the month of Shravan and the second in the month of Chaitra on the Saptami Tithi of Krishna Paksha. However, the date of Sheetla Saptami falling in the month of Chaitra is considered very important.
So now, let’s find out when is Sheetla Saptami 2023. Significance of Sheetla Saptami and know the auspicious timings in detail.
Sheetla Saptami 2023: Date, Muhurat and Timings
This year, Sheetla Saptamii will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
- Saptami Tithi Begins: 09:27 p.m on Mar 13, 2023
- Saptami Tithi Ends: 08:22 p.m on Mar 14, 2023
- Sheetala Saptami Puja Muhurat: 06:33 a.m to 06:29 p.m
Sheetala Ashtami is on Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Significance of Sheetla Saptami
According to Skanda Purana, Mata Sheetla is the goddess who protects us against diseases. Mata Sheetla holds a kalash, broom and neem leaves in her hands and rides on a donkey. By fasting and worshipping on the day of Sheetla Saptami, diseases and defects caused by the cold can be removed. It is a religious belief that in the family where women observe this fast with dedication and devotion, Maa Sheetla fulfils the family with wealth and opulence and keeps them safe from natural calamities. Mata Sheetla also protects children from skin diseases.
Sheetla Saptami Puja Vidhi
- Wake up early in the morning and take a bath in warm water with neem leaves and wear clean clothes.
- Worship Maa Sheetla by wearing clean clothes.
- Offer curd, roti, millet, sweet rice, salt and mathri (a kind of snack) as Bhog to Mata Sheetla.
- Apart from this, keep a lamp made of flour, roli, vastra, Akshat, turmeric, moli, coins and henna in Puja’s Thali (plate).
- Perform puja and worship Sheetla Mata.
- Offer all the ingredients including Mehendi and Kalava to Mata during the Puja.
- Offer water at the end and save some water.
- Apply this water on the eyes of all the members of the family and sprinkle the remaining in every part of the house.
- If any puja ingredients are left, donate them to a Brahmin.
What is the Vrat Katha Regarding the Sheetla Saptami?
The vrat katha (story) associated with Sheetla Saptami revolves around the story of a woman named Masuriya, who lived in a village with her husband and children. One day, Masuriya’s children fell ill with a severe fever, and no medicine seemed to help them. Masuriya went to a nearby temple and prayed to Goddess Sheetla to cure her children’s illnesses.
Goddess Sheetla appeared to Masuriya in a dream and instructed her to observe a fast (vrat) on the seventh day of the bright fortnight of Chaitra month. She also asked Masuriya to offer food and water to the poor and needy on that day. Masuriya followed the goddess’s instructions and observed the fast and made the offerings.
As a result of Masuriya’s devotion and offerings, Goddess Sheetla was pleased and cured her children of their illnesses. Since then, people have been observing the Sheetla Saptami fast to seek the blessings of the goddess and protect themselves and their families from diseases.
On the day of Sheetla Saptami, people wake up early in the morning, take a bath, and offer prayers to Goddess Sheetla. They also observe a fast and offer food and water to the poor and needy. The day is also marked by the ritualistic worship of Mata Sheetla in temples and at homes.
Learn about the Benefits of Fasting on such auspicious days
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Disclaimer: Vrat Katha varies depending on region and religious belief.