Skanda Sashti is an auspicious fast observed by Hindus every month, which is dedicated to Lord Skanda or Murugan, brother of Lord Ganesha and son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Although the festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the bright fortnight every month, Shukla Paksha Sashti during lunar month of Kartika is considered the most important one. (Also read | Mauni Amavasya 2024: Date, significance, puja timings, rituals and all you want to know)
On Skanda Sashti, devotees wake up early in the morning and worship Lord Murugan by lighting a ghee lamp, incense and by offering him fruits and sweet pongal. It is believed that people who observe a day-long fast on this day are blessed with good health, wealth, success, and get rid of negative energies.
Lord Murugan is also known as Subramanya, Karthikeya or Skanda. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In South India, Lord Murugan is considered younger brother of Lord Ganesha, while in North India, he is considered older than him. Skanda Sashti, also known as Kanda Shashti, is celebrated in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and in other countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Skanda Sashti 2024 February date
Skanda Sashti is observed every month on the sixth day of Shukla Paksha, the waxing phase of the moon. This month, it is being observed on February 14.
History and significance of Skanda Sashti
Legend has it that Lord Murugan or Lord Kartikeyan defeated demon Surapadman on this day. It so happened that Surapadman started wreaking devastation in the world after being blessed with many boons and attaining immense power. On the direction of his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Lord Murugan with the help of an army of celestial beings waged a 6-day battle against Surapadman and went on to defeat him. On Skanda Shasti, Lord Murugan’s devotees express their gratitude and seek blessings from him by observing a day-long fast.
Skanda Sashti 2024 in February Shubh Muhurat
Skanda Sashti on February 14, 2024, Wednesday
Begins: 12:09 PM, February 14
Ends: 10:12 AM, February 15
Rituals of Skanda Sashti 2024 in February
- Devotees wake up early in the morning, wear clean clothes and clean their puja area.
- A new idol or picture of Lord Murugan is installed in the puja area and decorated with flowers.
- A traditional ghee lamp and incense is lit, and offerings of fruits and sweet delicacies is made.
- The puja is completed with reciting of texts and hymns from Skanda Puranam and Skanda Shasti Kavacham.
- One of the rituals is to worship the Vel or the lance, Murugan’s principal weapon. Many people also visit Murugan temples.