Sheetala Ashtami 28th March 2019
By: Future Point | 28-Mar-2019Views : 1445
Know its Significance and Rituals associated with it!
This time, Sheetala Ashtami will be celebrated on Thursday, 28th March 2019.
This festival is dedicated to Goddess Sheetala who is also known as 'Sheetala Mata'. It is said that Sheetala Mata protects the health of children and gives immense wealth & prosperity to Her devotees. Some people perform the Puja (worship) of Sheetala Mata on the eighth day after the festival of Holi whereas some people perform this Puja on the first Monday that comes after Holi.
However, ancient rituals say that on account of Sheetala Ashtami, the Puja of Sheetala Mata is performed on Ashtami Tithi (eighth date) of the Krishna Paksha (Waning Phase of the Moon) in the month of 'Chaitra' as per the Hindu calendar.
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Sheetala Mata is a Goddess who is shown seated on a Donkey. She has broom in Her hand and She wears the leaves of 'Neem' as ornaments. She holds a pot of cool water in a hand as well. Sheetala Mata is a symbol of cleanliness and healthy life.
How to worship Sheetala Mata on Sheetala Ashtami?
- Take a bath by putting some Ganga Jal in your bathing water and wear saffron coloured clothes.
- At noon, go to a temple of Sheetala Mata for Her worship.
- Offer fragrant flowers, Neem leaves and 'Itra' to the Goddess during Her worship.
- Offer cold & stale food to the Goddess.
- Light camphor and perform Her 'Aarti'.
Recommended: The Navaratri Maha Havan & Kanya Pujan is performed in strict accordance with all Vedic and Durga Puja rules & rituals.
Traditions followed on Sheetala Ashtami
- People eat cold & stale food on Sheetala Ashtami.
- On this day, people do not light their cooking stove in the morning.
- There is also a tradition of eating a few Neem leaves on Sheetala Ashtami.
- People offer 'Bhog' of cold & stale 'Poori, Daal and Rice' along with some sweets to Sheetala Mata and then eat those as 'Prasad'.
- People also donate food to the needy before eating themselves.
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Story behind the worship of Sheetala Mata
There was a village where an old woman lived and once there was a huge fire in the village. The entire village burnt but the fire did not touch the house of the old woman.
Surprised by this, the villagers asked the old woman the reason for her house remaining untouched by fire.
The old woman said that she always observes a fast on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha in the month of Chaitra and breaks her fast by eating cold & stale food.
She said that she does not light up her cooking stove entirely on this day and worships Sheetala Mata wholeheartedly and it for this reason Sheetala Mata saved her and her house from fire.
Since then the tradition of worshipping Sheetala Mata started!
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