For all Hindus, Skanda Sashti is one of the significant days in the calendar as it is dedicated to Lord Skanda. He is the God of war and is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Popularly known as Lord Murugan and Lord Karthikeya, Skanda is said to have cut off the head of demon Soorapadman using his weapon.
This is a monthly festival that is observed on the Sashti tithi of Shukla Paksha, as per the Hindu calendar. The Southern part of India considers Lord Skanda as the younger brother of Lord Ganesha, while in the Northern states of India, devotees term him as the elder one.
As the new year began, the first Skanda Sashti of 2022 was observed on 7 January, while in February, it begins on the 6th of this month. On this special day, devotees worship Lord Skanda while some also observe a day-long fast to seek his special blessings.
Date and Timings:
Begins - 03:46 am, 6 February
Ends - 04:37 am, 7 February
This holy festival marks the birth anniversary of Lord Kartikeya, which is also known as Kumar Sashti. As per Hindu belief, Lord Murugan killed demon Soorapadman by cutting his head with a weapon. This gave rise to two birds, a peacock and a rooster. The peacock became Lord Murugan's Vahana and the rooster became an emblem on his flag.
Rituals to follow:
Devotees observing this festival, are advised to wake up early in the morning. They are requested to take baths and fast throughout the day. Those fasting should note that the fast begins at sunrise and ends the next morning.
Depending on the devotee’s choice, they can observe a full-day or partial fasting. The offerings during the puja include an oil lamp, a few flowers, kumkum and incense sticks. Devotees also offer prayers by visiting their nearest temples.