Sheetla Ashtami 2024: Know Sheetala Ashtami Puja, Date and more

Sheetla Ashtami 2024: This is a Hindu festival celebrated in honor of the goddess Sheetala Mata. An incarnation of Goddess Maa Durga.

Let me tell you that according to Hindu religion, Sheetala Saptami and Ashtami have special significance. It falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) after the festival of colors, Holi

Here are some key details about when is Sheetla Ashtami 2024, Date, Muhurt, Significance and more.

Sheetla Ashtami 2024: Significance

Let me tell you that Sheetala Mata is considered the healer of epidemics and diseases. Especially during outbreaks and communicable diseases.

According to Hindu beliefs, Sheetala Mata protects her devotees from chicken-pox, smallpox, measles and other heat-related diseases.

He is depicted with four or two hands. When she is shown with four hands, she holds a small broom, a fan, neem leaves and a kalash (pot). 

With both hands, she holds a small broom to clean away viruses and germs, and a kalash with Ganges water for purification.

It is believed that observing Sheetla Ashtami fast helps in treating many diseases.

Let me tell you that devotees avoid lighting fire on this day. Food prepared the previous day is offered. Stale food is offered to the Maa. Therefore it is also called Basoda festival.

Stale food is offered as naivedya prasad to Sheetala Mata. To replace this stale food, a special dish made of rice and jaggery or sugarcane juice is prepared. In which many other types of offerings like Malpua, Halwa, Dahi Vada, Puri, Puan, Rabdi are offered.

On this holy Ashtami, Goddess Sheetla, the incarnation of Goddess Durga and Parvati, is worshipped. Let us now know why stale food is offered to Maa Goddess on the day of Shitala Ashtami.

Why is stale food offered to Sheetala Mata?

Sheetla Ashtami 2024
Sheetla mata. Image credit: Wikipedia

As the name suggests, ‘Shitala Mata’ means goddess of coolness. Maa Goddess protects her devotees from all types of diseases caused by heat due to coolness. It puts an end to it.

Hindu religion worships nature. Let us tell you that Sheetala Ashtami marks the end of the winter season. Sheetala Ashtami is considered to be the last day of the winter season.

Due to religious beliefs, stale food is offered to Sheetala Mata on this day. And after that eating stale food is not considered appropriate.

According to science, food cooked in heat spoils quickly. Therefore, one should not eat stale food after Shitala Ashtami.

Offering stale food to Sheetala Mata makes her happy. Because Sheetala Mata wants to eat her stale food till winter. Don’t eat it now. Surrender all that to me till the summer season.

Sheetala Mata blesses her people to remain healthy. During summer, most of the people suffer from smallpox, fever, bile diseases, pimples, boils and eye diseases. 

In such a situation, these diseases can be avoided by worshiping Sheetala Saptami and Ashtami. Let’s know about Sheetala Ashtami 2024 date and timings.

Sheetala Ashtami 2024 date

Sheetala Ashtami Puja takes place in the next week after the completion of Holi. In some places in India, they are worshiped only on the first Monday or Thursday after Holi.

The worship of Sheetala Devi starts from Saptami Tithi of Krishna Paksha of Chaitra month. It is celebrated before Chaitra Navratri. Let’s know about when is sheetla ashtami 2024.

Sheetala Ashtami is observed in the month of Chaitra Maas (March – April) according to the traditional calendar of North India. The date of Sheetala Ashtami  2024 is April 2nd.

Sheetala Mata is pleased by worshiping at this given period. She frees her devotees from diseases. Let’s know about How to Perform Sheetala Ashtami Puja.

How to Perform Sheetala Ashtami Puja

  1. On the day of Ashtami, one wakes up in the morning before sunrise and takes bath with cold water. After that go to Shitala Mata Temple.
  2. Prepare plates with naivedya (food prepared a day before) for Sheetala Ashtami Puja.
  3. Now offer a lamp made of wheat flour to the Mother Goddess (do not burn it). Offer soaked gram dal, malpua, halwa, dahi vada, pakoda etc. during Sheetala Ashtami Puja.
  4. Now offer vermilion, henna, turmeric, flowers, betel nut, coins, husked coconut, bananas and sweets to the Maa Goddess.
  5. Chant mantras, meditate, do bhajan kirtan. All members should perform Aarti.
  6. After offering bhog, meditation, bhajan kirtan, pray for happiness, peace, prosperity and freedom from all kinds of diseases for your family.
  7. After Sheetala Ashtami Puja, first give the stale food to Mata’s servant Potter. After that feed this food to the cow. After the cow, the same prasad was fed to the nearby dog and bird.
  8. In the end the whole family eats this leftover stale food. Keep in mind that after today one should not eat stale food till the entire summer season.

What are the rituals associated with Sheetala Ashtami?

Sheetala Ashtami, also known as Basora puja or Basoda puja. It honors the goddess Sheetala (or Shitala), an avtaar of Goddess Durga. Here are the rituals associated with this auspicious festival:

1. Preparation of Bhog (Prasad)

  • The prasad or bhog necessary for the Ashtami puja is prepared the evening before.
  • Recipes are made using jaggery and vegetable oil. Sweet roti, sweet rice, besan and potato puris, and gulgule are commonly prepared.
  • In some locations, black gram soaked overnight is served the following day.

2. Cold Foods Only

  • On Ashtami, devotees refrain from lighting fires and consuming hot food.
  • Only cold foods are consumed throughout the day.

3. Offerings to Goddess Sheetala

  • Wake up early, take a cold-water bath, and visit the Sheetala Mata temple.
  • Offerings include curd, Rabri, Gur (jaggery), and other essentials.
  • Sweet roti, butter, and curd are also offered.
  • Raw lassi (made from unpasteurized milk) is frequently provided to Sheetla Mata.

4. Importance of stale food in Sheetala Ashtami Puja

Let me tell you that according to mythological beliefs, worshiping Shitala Mata cures chicken pox, measles, boils and eye diseases.

Sheetala Mata is considered a symbol of cleanliness who frees from diseases caused by heat or fire. She is considered the goddess who cures smallpox. The festival of Shitala Ashtami is celebrated to protect against infectious diseases.

Talking about the scientific reason, this time is the time for cold to go and summer season to come. Special care should be taken about eating habits during the transition period of these two seasons. 

There is a risk of many types of seasonal diseases due to cold and heat. Therefore, there is a tradition of eating cold food on this day.

After this comes the summer season. We should not eat stale food in summer. Because stale food spoils quickly at this time. Which can cause many types of diseases if eaten.

5. Mantra (to chant during the Puja)

वन्देऽहंशीतलांदेवीं रासभस्थांदिगम्बराम्।।

मार्जनीकलशोपेतां सूर्पालंकृतमस्तकाम्।।

Vandehan Sheetala Devi Rasabhasththaandigambaraam, Maarjaneekalashopetaan Soorpaalankrtamastakaam.

6. Worship and Blessings

  • Chant mantras, meditate, perform aarti, and seek divine blessings from elderly people.
  • The food left after offering the bhog to the Goddess is consumed by devotees as sacred prasad.
  • In various regional areas, this festival is popularly called ‘Basoda’. Goddess Sheetala blesses devotees and wards off heat-generated diseases.

FAQs for Sheetla Ashtami

Sheetla Ashtami is a Sanatan Dharma festival dedicated to Goddess Sheetla. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers:

What is Sheetla Ashtami?

It’s celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) after Holi. Sheetla Ashtami in honor of Goddess Sheetla. Who is believed to protect against diseases like chickenpox, measles, and smallpox.

When is it celebrated?

In 2024, Sheetla Ashtami falls on Tuesday, 02 April.

What are the rituals of Sheetla Ashtami.

Devotees wake up early, take a cold-water bath, and visit the temple of Sheetla Mata. They offer a Diya, sindoor, Haldi, flowers, paan supari, currency coins, coconut, and sweets. Food prepared the previous day is offered as Naivedhya.

What is the significance of the festival?

Worshipping Goddess Sheetla is believed to ward off heat-generated diseases and bring health and peace. The festival signifies the deity’s role in healing and protecting her devotees.

Is there a specific mantra chanted during the puja?

Yes, a common mantra is-
वन्देऽहंशीतलांदेवीं रासभस्थांदिगम्बराम्।।मार्जनीकलशोपेतां सूर्पालंकृतमस्तकाम्।।

Vandehan Sheetala Devi Rasabhasththaandigambaraam, Maarjaneekalashopetaan Soorpaalankrtamastakaam.

Can food be cooked on Sheetla Ashtami?

Traditionally, no fire is lit to cook food on this day. Devotees consume food prepared the previous day.

Why do we celebrate Sheetala Ashtami?

Sheetala Ashtami is celebrated to honor Goddess Sheetala. Who is believed to protect against heat-borne diseases.

What is Basoda festival?

Basoda, also known as Sheetala Ashtami, is observed eight days after Holi. It’s a time when devotees worship Goddess Sheetala mata.

What to do on Sheetala Ashtami?

On Sheetala Ashtami, devotees perform the following rituals:

Wake up early and take a cold-water bath before sunrise. Visit the temple of Sheetala Mata and offer prayers. Prepare food on the previous day (no cooking is allowed on Ashtami). Offer Diya, sindoor, Mehendi, Haldi, flowers, paan supari, currency coins, coconut, bananas, and sweets to the deity. Consume the food prepared the previous day as Prasad.

Conclusion

Conclusion: These rituals are performed with the belief that Goddess Sheetala will bless the devotees with good health and protect them from diseases.

You read about Sheetala Ashtami 2024, Sheetala Ashtami puja method. You also read Sheetala Ashtami 2024 date and timings , and significance including other information in this article.

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Disclaimer: All the information given in this article (Sheetla Ashtami 2024: Know Sheetala Ashtami Puja, Date and more) is based on religious beliefs and beliefs. We cannot verify all its data.

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