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Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Date, puja rituals, timing, significance, and what to eat while fasting

Learn the date, puja rituals, timing, and significance of this auspicious day, Sheetala Ashtami, dedicated to Goddess Sheetala. Discover traditional fasting practices and recommended foods for observing this sacred occasion.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Published on: April 01, 2024 13:14 IST
Sheetala Ashtami 2024
Image Source : GOOGLE Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Date, puja rituals, timing and more

As the spring season sets in, Hindus across India eagerly await the festival of Sheetala Ashtami, a day dedicated to Goddess Sheetala Devi, also known as Goddess Shitala Mata. This year, Sheetala Ashtami falls on April 1, 2024. This auspicious occasion holds immense cultural and religious significance, celebrated with fervour and devotion in various parts of the country. Devotees fervently worship Goddess Sheetala Devi, seeking her blessings for good health and prosperity. Here's all you need to know about this festival, from puja timing and rituals to its significance.

Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Date and Timing

Sheetala Ashtami typically falls in the Hindu month of Chaitra, usually in March or April, depending on the lunar calendar. This year, it is observed on April 1. The Ashtami Tithi begins at 09:09 PM on Apr 01 and ends at 08:08 PM on April 2, 2024. The Sheetala Ashtami Puja Muhurat takes place between 06:31 AM and 06:53 PM.

Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Puja Rituals

Devotees wake up early on Sheetala Ashtami to prepare for the day's festivities. The primary ritual involves worshipping Goddess Sheetala Devi to seek her blessings for good health, prosperity, and protection from diseases, especially those related to heat and infections.

The puja ceremony usually begins with a ritualistic bath before sunrise, followed by the preparation of the deity's idol or image. Devotees clean their houses and surroundings meticulously, symbolising the purification of the body and soul. Special offerings like fruits, sweets, and freshly prepared food are arranged as a part of the worship.

Devotees also light incense sticks and offer flowers to the goddess while chanting hymns and prayers dedicated to her. Some people observe fasts on this day as a mark of devotion and seek blessings from Goddess Sheetala for the well-being of their families.

Sheetala Ashtami 2024: Significance

Sheetala Ashtami holds profound significance in Hindu mythology and tradition. Goddess Sheetala Devi is revered as the protector against diseases, particularly those caused by the heat of summer. Devotees believe that worshipping her on this day helps in preventing illnesses and ensures good health for their loved ones.

The festival also marks the onset of the summer season in India, making it all the more relevant to seek the blessings of the goddess to ward off the ailments associated with the changing weather.

Sheetala Ashtami 2024: What to Eat While Fasting

Fasting is a common practice among devotees of Sheetala Ashtami. While fasting, people abstain from consuming grains, pulses, and certain spices. Instead, they prefer to eat fruits, milk, and dishes made from specific ingredients allowed during the fast.

Some popular dishes consumed during the fast include sabudana khichdi, sama rice (barnyard millet) dishes, fruit salads, yogurt-based preparations, and milk-based sweets. These foods are light on the stomach and provide essential nutrients to sustain energy levels throughout the day.

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