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Sheetala Saptami Or Basoda 2022; How to celebrate ? Significance, History of Sheetla Saptami

Mar 24, 2022

Sheetala Saptami is celebrated on the Saptami Tithi Krishna Paksha in the month of Phalguna/Chaitra. This year, this festival will be celebrated today. Therefore, scroll down to know more about the Goddess, the rituals, and the significance.

Sheetala Saptami, observed on the Saptami Tithi (Day 7) during Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Lunar cycle) in the Hindu month of Chaitra (Purnimant)/Phalguna (Amavasyant) calendar, is a festival dedicated to Goddess Sheetala. Interestingly, the names of the months differ, but the days remain the same. Also spelt as Shitala, this Goddess is an incarnation of the feminine power or Shakti.

However, devotees worship Goddess Sheetala on the Ashtami Tithi (i.e. the day after Saptami) in some regions. Read on to know the significance of this festival and learn more about the Goddess.

Sheetala Saptami or Basoda significance

According to a legend mentioned in the Skanda Purana, Maa Sheetala emerged when the Gods performed a sacrificial fire (Havan) ceremony for Goddess Parvati. At the same time, a demon named Jwarasura appeared after a drop of Lord Shiva’s sweat fell on the ground. This demon spread diseases and caused massive destruction. However, he lost his powers after Goddess Sheetala cured the illnesses. Hence, devotees worship Sheetala Devi to heal ailments like chickenpox, measles and other heat-borne diseases.

The pictorial depiction of the Goddess shows her endowed with either four or two hands. She holds a broom, a dustpan, neem leaves, and a pitcher. Mounted on a donkey, the Mother Goddess blesses her devotees and wards off heat-generated illnesses. The broom and the dustpan emphasise cleanliness, and the water pitcher symbolises life. Last but not least, the neem leaves represent medicine

How is Sheetala Saptami celebrated

Devotees do not light fire to cook, and hence, they consume food cooked on the previous day. Therefore, this festival is also known as Basoda. A dish made of rice and jaggery/sugarcane juice is prepared, and the same is offered to the deity as Naiveidhya.

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