Sheetala Saptami is one of the significant days for Hindus. The day is dedicated to Sheetala Mata or Goddess Sheetala. Devotees offer her prayers and ask for the well-being of their children and family. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Sheetla protects from diseases like chickenpox and smallpox.
The festival is mainly celebrated in the areas of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. In Southern India, the deity is known as Goddess Mariamman or Goddess Poleramma. The festival of Sheetala Saptami is also known as Polala Amavasya in the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Sheetala Saptami: Date and Timings:
Sheetala Saptami is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Saptami Tithi of Chaitra maas. This year, it will fall on April 3. Saptami Tithi will start at 05:58 am on April 03 and will conclude at 04:12 am on April 04.
Significance Of Sheetala Saptami:
According to Skanda Purana, Goddess Sheetala is an incarnation of Goddess Durga and Maa Parvati. The deity signifies the healing power of nature and hence the devotees worship and offer prayers to Goddess Sheetala to remain safe and protected from the diseases like chickenpox and smallpox. ‘Sheetala’ in a literal sense means ‘coolness’ or ‘cool’.
Sheetala Saptami 2021: Rituals to be followed on the day:
On this day, devotees wake up early before sunrise and take a bath. They visit Sheetala Mata temple to perform puja by offering bhog (curd, rice, halwa, puri, a kheer or rabdi etc), kalash, haldi, kumkum, akshat, flowers, sindoor, mehendi, kajal, red chunri, kalava, banana, coconut etc. Many people also perform puja at their home and seek a joyous, healthy, and peaceful life.
Reading and listening to Sheetala Mata Vrat Katha is an important ritual of puja. In some parts of the country, people also shave their heads to please the Goddess. The puja is concluded by singing Aarti. Once the puja is done, people sprinkle water from the Kalash on themselves, their family members and their house to purify.