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Ratha Saptami 2021: Date, Time and significance of Festival Dedicated to Sun God

Devotees offer prayers after taking a holy dip at Sangam, confluence of River Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, on 'Mauni Amavasya' during the ongoing annual 'Magh Mela' festival in Prayagraj, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Devotees offer prayers after taking a holy dip at Sangam, confluence of River Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, on 'Mauni Amavasya' during the ongoing annual 'Magh Mela' festival in Prayagraj, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The holy festival is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun god). Due to our diverse culture and traditions, the day is celebrated with devotion worshipping the Sun god and is also known as ‘Aarogya Saptami’ in some places.

The Saptami tithi of Shukla Paksha in Magha month is celebrated as Ratha Saptami or Magha Saptami. Ratha Saptami 2021 will be celebrated on February 19. The holy festival is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun god). Due to our diverse culture and traditions, the day is celebrated with devotion worshipping the Sun god and is also known as ‘Aarogya Saptami’ in some places. Devotees believe that on the day of Ratha Saptami, Lord Surya started enlightening the world and is also considered to be the birth day of the Sun God. The day is also known as Surya Jayanti at many places.

Ratha Saptami – Date, Time and Tithi

Date: February 19, 2021

Snan muhurat (auspicious time for taking a dip in the river): Between 4:56 and 6:34 AM IST

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Ratha Saptami tithi: The Saptami tithi begins at 8.17 am on February 18 and ends at 10.58 am on February 19.

Significance of Ratha Saptami

According to Hindu religion, the Sun God was born to Sage Kashyapa and Aditi on the Saptami Tithi of Magha, Shukla Paksha. Hence, Ratha Saptami Day is also known as Surya Jayanti. Devotees worship the Sun God on this day and rise early to take a bath during Arunodaya (sunrise). This ritual is one of the most crucial aspects of the holy day. They believe that one can get rid from the sins they may have committed by words, actions, intentionally, unintentionally or theoretically, in the previous birth or the present one, by taking a bath in a sacred river on this auspicious day.

After the ritualistic holy dip, devotees offer Arghya (water) to the Sun God. They hold a kalash (small pot) filled with water and gently tilting it towards him. After Arghya is performed, they offer an oil/ghee lamp, red flowers, incense and an ignited camphor to the Sun God while chanting mantras dedicated to him.

According to a local legend, the twelve wheels of the Sun God's chariot represents Zodiac signs and the seven horses that carry his chariot symbolise the seven hues of the rainbow. Another school of thought also suggests that the seven horses signify the seven days of the week.

first published:February 18, 2021, 12:39 IST