Ratha Saptami is one of the most important Hindu festivals that is observed on the ‘saptami’ (7th day) during the Shukla Paksha (the bright fortnight of moon) of the month of ‘Magha’ in the Hindu calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, this date falls somewhere between the months of mid-January to February. Ratha Saptami normally falls on the second day following the celebrations of Shri Panchami or Vasant Panchami. This festival is devoted to Sun God and is also popularly known as ‘Surya Jayanti’, ‘Magh Jayanti’ or ‘Magha Saptami’. Lord Surya is known to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu. This day celebrates the birth anniversary of Surya Bhagwan and is believed that on this day Sun God enlightened the whole world.
The word ‘ratha’ means ‘chariot’ and on the day of Magh Shukla Paksha Saptami, Lord Sun is worshipped sitting on His golden chariot that is driven by seven white horses. The glory of Lord Sun, His Chariot and Ratha Saptami is not just limited to this but is extended far more. In India, there are many temples built in honour of Lord Sun and special events and celebrations are held on the day of Ratha Saptami in all these temples. The festivities are very well-known in the Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple with special puja arrangements. Ratha Saptami holds special significance in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Ratha Saptami 2018 was on January 24 Wednesday
Rituals during Ratha Saptami:
- On the day of Ratha Saptami, devotees get up before sunrise to take a holy bath. The Ratha Saptami Snan is an important ritual of the day and should be performed at the time of ‘Arunodaya’ only. It is believed that by taking a sacred bath during this time, will free a person from all illnesses and ailments and bestow good health. For this reason Ratha Saptami is also popularly known as ‘Arogya Saptami’. In Tamil Nadu, devotees take this sacred bath using Erukku leaves.
- After completing the bath, devotees offer ‘Arghyadan’ to Sun God at the time of sunrise. The rite of ‘Arghyadan’ is performed by offering water slowly from a small kalash in Namaskar Mudra to Surya Bhagwan by facing towards Him in the standing position. Many people perform this ritual 12 times along with chanting twelve different names of Surya Bhagwan, each time.
- Following this devotee light up a Ghee Deepak and worship Sun God with red flowers, kapoor and dhoop. It is believed that the observer of all these rituals to Sun God will be bestowed with good health, longevity and success.
- On the day of Ratha Saptami, in many households women draw the images of Surya God along with the chariot as a welcoming gesture. They make beautiful rangoli in front of their houses. In the courtyard, milk is put in mud vessels and boiled facing the sun. This milk is then used to make the sweet rice or ‘Paramannam’ Bhog for offering to the Sun God.
- Chanting ‘Gayatri Mantra’ and reciting ‘Surya Sahasranaam’, ‘Adityahridayam’ or ‘Suryashtakam’ or is considered very auspicious on this day.
Important Timings On Ratha Saptami
|Sunrise||24-Jan-2018 07:13 AM|
|Sunset||24-Jan-2018 18:04 PM|
|Snan Muhurta||05:37 AM - 07:13 AM|
|Sunrise Time For Arghyadan||24-Jan-2018 07:09 AM|
|Saptami Tithi Begins||23-Jan-2018 16:40 PM|
|Saptami Tithi Ends||24-Jan-2018 16:16 PM|
|Place : Ujjain [ India ]|
Significance of Ratha Saptami:
the day of Ratha Saptami is very auspicious for Hindus and gives the same virtues as observing Daan-Punya activities on the day of Surya Grahan. In the Hindu religion, Sun God is referred as the God of Health and worshipped for good health and longevity. It is also believed that by staunchly worshipping Sun God on this day, all the kinds of sins, from the current or previous births will be pardoned.
Ratha Saptami also signifies the movement of Sun God in his chariot towards the northern hemisphere. This day signifies the arrival of summer season and is also indicative of the rising temperatures, mostly across Southern states of India. Ratha Saptami also denotes beginning of the harvesting season and thus for Indian farmers it symbolises a promising beginning of the New Year.
Ratha Saptami festival dates between 2015 & 2025
|2015||Monday, 26th of January|
|2016||Sunday, 14th of February|
|2017||Friday, 3rd of February|
|2018||Wednesday, 24th of January|
|2019||Tuesday, 12th of February|
|2020||Saturday, 1st of February|
|2021||Friday, 19th of February|
|2022||Monday, 7th of February|
|2023||Saturday, 28th of January|
|2024||Friday, 16th of February|
|2025||Tuesday, 4th of February|