Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Date, Significance, and Rituals

Sheetala Ashtami is a festival in India dedicated to honouring Goddess Sheetala who is believed to be the goddess of health and wellness. She is also known as Sheetala mata of Shitala Devi. This festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Chaitra month (March-April) in the Hindu calendar

Sheetala Devi is generally shown riding a donkey with a broom in her hands representing cleanliness and purity. Devotees celebrate this day to seek Shitala Devi’s blessings and protection against diseases and sickness. In this article, we explore the date, significance and rituals of this festival.

Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Date and Time

In 2024, Sheetala Ashtami also known as Shitalashtami will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 2. The Ashtami tithi begins at 9:09 PM on April 1 and ends at 8:08 PM on April 2.

Shitalashtami Puja Muhurat: 6:10 AM to 6:40 PM

Significance of Sheetala Ashtami

This festival is also called Basoda puja in some regions of India and is an important part of Hindu culture and for worshipping Sheetala Mata who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. She is believed to represent health and wellness and remove sickness and diseases.

Devotees celebrate this day by following certain rituals and customs which involves the worship of Shitala Devi in order to keep families healthy and safe from diseases. This goddess is essentially linked with diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox, fever and other heat-related diseases. People clean their homes and surroundings on this day as well.

Since this festival occurs during the summers the rituals and offerings are a way to ask for help stay cool and healthy during the summer season. Additionally, in some places Sheetala Ashtami is also celebrated with the idea that the goddess will bless families with health and happiness.

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The Story Behind Sheetala Ashtami

There are various stories behind Sheetala Ashtami rooted deep in Hindu mythology. One legend tells the story of how a demon named Jvarasura infected all children with a bacteria causing high fever. Seeing this the goddess appeared and removed the bacteria from all children and returning them back to good health. Also, defeating the demon.

Sheetala Ashtami Rituals

To celebrate Sheetala Ashtami, people follow a number of customs and rituals related to worshipping the goddess and cleanliness.

  • Devotees often get up before sunrise and take an early bath representing the cleansing of the body and mind. Ritualistic cleansing is a way to honour Sheetala Devi who represents cleanliness and good health.
  • A puja in honour of the goddess is held with fruits and sweets as offerings. Some people also visit Sheetala mata temples to join pujas dedicated to her and ask for her blessings and safety from diseases.
  • Since the goddess is linked to cleanliness, devotees also clean their homes to make sure it is germ and bacteria free. 
  • Some devotees observe a full or half fast during which they eat cold foods like fruits, curd and sweets. It’s believed that fasting helps cleanse the body and mind and helps receive Sheetala mata’s blessings and protection from sickness.

Sheetala Ashtami is an important festival in Hindu culture that promotes health and cleanliness among followers. As Sheetala Ashtami 2024 approaches, the Astro Kundli team hopes the purity of Goddess Sheetala shield everyone from illness and keeps everyone health and happy!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the date of Sitala Puja?

The muhurat for Sitala Puja in 2024 is Tuesday, April 2 between 6:10 AM to 6:40 PM.

Why is Sheetla Ashtami celebrated?

Devotees celebrate this day to worship Sheetala Devi in hopes of receiving her blessings and protection for families against diseases and sickness. The goddess is essentially linked with diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox, fever and other heat-related diseases.

What do we eat on Sheetla Ashtami?

The food choices on Sheetala Ashtami usually include cooling items such as seasonal fruits (mangoes, bananas, grapes and melons), curd, cold sweets, simple and stale food items like basoda and bread.   

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