What is Skanda Sashti?
Skanda Sashti is a popular festival that is celebrated by Tamil Hindus with much devotion. It is festival dedicated to their deity. Lord Murugan or Skanda. This is why it is also known as Murugan Sashti or Kanda Sashti. Skanda is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha; while in North India, he is considered to be the elder brother of Lord Ganesha while in South India, he is considered the younger brother of Lord Ganesha. Lord Murugan is also known as Lord Subramanya or Karthikeyan.
Skanda Sashti Vratam - Importance
Every Sashti Tithi is dedicated to Lord Skanda. On Shukla Paksha Sashti day, devotees of Lord Skanda observe a fast to please their deity and get his blessings. However, for devotees to observe Sashti Vratam, the most auspicious time is when Panchami and Sashti Tithi combine. In other words, the end of Panchami tithi and beginning of Sashti tithi between sunrise and sunset is the most appropriate hour that is chosen to observe Skanda Sashti Vratam. This is why this fast is observed during Panchami Tithi.
History and Story of Skanda Sashti Viratham
Although all Sashti Tithis are devoted to Lord Murugan but the most significant is the one which falls in Shukla Paksha of lunar month Kartik. On this day, devotees observe a 6 day long fast which concludes on Surasamharam. Surasamharam day is decided on the basis of association of Panchami and Sashti tithi. This is the reason all the temples of Lord Murugan celebrate Kanda Sashti on Panchami Tithi. Surasamharam is the most significant day of this 6 day long festivity as it was on this day that Lord Skanda or Lord Murugan defeated an evil demon named Surapadman. Hence, this day also marks the triumph of good over evil forces. On the next day of Surasamharam day, devotees celebrate Thirukalyanam.
The next Sashti tithi or Skanda Sashti after Surasamharam is celebrated as Subramanya Sashti. This day falls in Margashirsha month as per lunar calendar.
Although Skanda Sashti is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in all temples dedicated to Lord Murugan but the most extensive and grand celebration takes place in temple of Thiruchendur Murugan.
SKANDA SASHTI 2019 DATES
According to Hindu Calendar, the Sashti Dates for 2019 are
- 12 January - Skanda Sashti
- 10 February - Skanda Sashti
- 12 March - Skanda Sashti
- 10 April - Skanda Sashti
- 10 May - Skanda Sashti
- 08 June - Skanda Sashti
- 07 July - Skanda Sashti
- 05 August - Skanda Sashti
- 04 September - Skanda Sashti
- 03 October - Skanda Sashti
- 02 November - Soora Samharam
- 02 December - Subrahmanya Sashti
- 31 December - Skanda Sashti
Among all the Skanda Sashti dates, the one that falls in the month of Kartik in Shukla Paksha is considered highly significant and is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in South India.