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 colourful 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 programmes are also staged. Devotees celebrate this festival with immense fervour and devotion. It is believed that by keeping the vrat on this chosen day, they will be prevented from several diseases.

Sheetala Ashtami 2017 was on March 21 Tuesday

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Sheetala Ashtami

Sheetala Ashtami

Rituals during Sheetala Ashtami:

  • On the day of Sheetala Ashtami as per the traditions, the families do not lit fire for the purpose of cooking. They therefore prepare food a day in advance and consume the stale food on the actual day. It is only in Sheetala Ashtami that there is unique custom of offering stale food to Goddess Sheetala.
  • Devotees get up early, before sunrise and take a bath. They visit the Sheetala Devi temple and worship the Goddess with ‘haldi’ and ‘bajra’. After performing the puja rituals they listen to the ‘Basoda Vrat Katha’. ‘Rabri’, ‘curd’ and other essential offerings are then made to Goddess Sheetala. People also take blessings from their elders.
  • After offering the prepared food to the Goddess, rest of the food is eaten all day long as Prasad and is known as ‘Basoda’ in local language. The food is also distributed among other devotees and also given to the poor and needy people. On this day reading ‘Sheetalashtak’ is also considered favourable.

Important Timings On Sheetala Ashtami

Sunrise21-Mar-2017 06:33 AM
Sunset21-Mar-2017 18:34 PM
Ashtami Tithi Begins 20-Mar-2017 08:19 AM
Ashtami Tithi Ends21-Mar-2017 10:32 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

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 details. 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, small pox 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.

Sheetala Ashtami festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Monday, 24th of March
2015Saturday, 14th of March
2016Friday, 1st of April
2017Tuesday, 21st of March
2018Friday, 9th of March
2019Thursday, 28th of March
2020Monday, 16th of March
2021Sunday, 4th of April
2022Friday, 25th of March
2023Wednesday, 15th of March
2024Tuesday, 2nd of April
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