Sheetla Saptami is a Hindu festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour throughout India, especially in the northern states of the country. This festival is dedicated to the goddess Sheetla, also known as Mata Sheetla or Shitala Devi.
The festival falls on the seventh day after Holi, which is known as Sheetla Saptami. In 2023, the festival will be celebrated on 14th March, Tuesday.
The festival is celebrated to appease Goddess Sheetla, who is believed to have the power to cure and prevent diseases. It is believed that worshipping the goddess on this day can protect people from various ailments and epidemics.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Sheetla is associated with smallpox and other diseases that are caused by contaminated water and food. The goddess is believed to have the power to control and cure these diseases. Therefore, people offer prayers to her on this day, seeking her blessings for good health and well-being.
The festival is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. In some regions, it is celebrated as “Basoda Puja”, where people fast and offer food to the goddess. In other regions, people take a holy bath early in the morning and offer prayers to the goddess. In some places, people also offer green gram, barley, and other grains to the goddess.
In many regions, people also organize fairs and carnivals on this day. These fairs are known as Sheetla Melas, where people come together to celebrate and enjoy various cultural activities. The fairs also offer a platform for people to showcase their talent in various fields like art, music, and dance.
In some parts of the country, especially in the state of Haryana, people also organize a procession to mark the festival. The procession includes a decorated chariot, which carries the idol of the goddess. People sing and dance to the tunes of traditional songs and music, and the procession concludes with the immersion of the idol in a nearby water body.
The festival holds significant importance for farmers as well, as it marks the beginning of the sowing season. It is believed that if the goddess is pleased, she blesses the crops with a good harvest and protection from diseases.
In conclusion, Sheetla Saptami is a significant festival in the Hindu calendar that celebrates the power of the goddess Sheetla to cure and prevent diseases.
The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy throughout the country, with different regions having their unique way of celebrating it.
The festival not only marks the beginning of the sowing season but also offers an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage.
शीतला माता मंत्र: वन्दे हं शीतलां देवी रासभस्थां दिगम्बराम्।
Vande Han Shitalam Devi Rasabhasthan Digambaram.