Sheetala Ashtami is also known as ‘Basoda Puja’ and is a popular Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Sheetala. It is observed on the ‘Ashtami (8th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) during the Hindu month of ‘Chaitra’. It corresponds to the month of mid-March to April in the Gregorian calendar. Sheetala Ashtami is celebrated after the colorful festival of Holi, generally after eight days. But in some communities, it is observed on the first Thursday or Monday that comes after Holi. Also in some districts, Sheetala Ashtami is observed on the ‘Ashtami of the Krishna Paksha, every month, but of all these, the Chaitra Krishna Paksha Ashtami is considered most propitious.
The celebrations of Sheetala Ashtami are very renowned in the north Indian states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. In the Indian state of Rajasthan, the Sheetala Ashtami festival is celebrated with great passion. A huge fair is organized for this occasion and several musical events and programs are also staged. Devotees celebrate this festival with immense fervor and devotion. It is believed that by keeping the vrat on this chosen day, they will be prevented from several diseases.
Sheetala Ashtami 2021 is on April 04 Sunday
Significance of Sheetala Ashtami
Sheetala Mata is known to be an important Goddess in Hindu mythology. The Goddess is seated on a donkey and has been portrayed holding neem leaves, broom, soup, and a pot. Her magnificence has been explicitly mentioned in several religious scriptures. In the Skanda Purana, the benefit of worshipping Sheetala Ashtami has been explained in great detail. The Sheetala Mata Stotra written by Lord Shiva and also known as ‘Sheetalashtak’ can also be found in the Skanda Purana.
This day is dedicated to worshipping Goddess Sheetala. According to the Hindu scriptures, it is believed that Goddess Sheetala controls chickenpox, measles, smallpox, and other similar diseases. By worshipping the Goddess on this auspicious day people can prevent the outbreak of epidemic diseases in their family, especially among children.