The Hindu festival of Sital Sasthi celebrates the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is observed on the ‘sasthi’ (6th day) during the ‘Shukla Paksha’ (the waxing phase of moon) in the ‘Jyestha’month of the traditional Hindu calendar. This date corresponds to the months of May-June in the Gregorian calendar. Sital Sasthi is one-of-its-kind festival that is celebrated in a carnival form. Artists and individuals from different forms of life come together and participate in the celebrations, and bring out the most beautiful and true colors of life. Sital Sasthi is celebrated with immense fervour and gaiety all over India, especially in the Sambalpur district of Orissa. The Sambalpur carnival on Sital Sasthi is a popular event that attracts thousands of tourists from all over India and abroad.

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

  • The festival of Sital Sasthi is observed as the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In Sambalpur it is celebrated as the ‘Sital Sasthi Yatra Festival’ and the festivities lasts for a period of 5 days. During this festival, a family of the region is chosen to play a role of Parvati's father and mother and they present her hands to Shiva for marriage. As Lord Shiva is known as ‘Swayam Bhu’, no one plays the role of his parents.
  • The first day of the festival is known as ‘Patra Pendi’ day. On this day the chosen family adopts Parvati. After two days, the idol of Goddess Parvati arrives at the house of her adopted parents. As a part of the ritual, from this adopted home, the bride (idol of Goddess Parvati) is taken in a grand procession in the night for the marriage ceremony.
  • Much in the same way, Lord Shiva, accompanied by other Hindu Gods and Goddesses arrive at the place of marriage ceremony. This divine procession is lead by Lord Narsimha and Lord Hanuman.
  • All the normal rituals and customs are performed even for this divine marriage ceremony. The celebrations are witnessed by devotees from the neighbouring states and beyond. After the ceremonies, on the following evening, divine couple begin their journey of the town, referred as ‘Nagar Parikrama’. This event is also popularly known as ‘Sital Sasthi Yatra’. Folk music, fold dance and other such events form the chief attraction of this carnival.
  • On the occasion of this marriage ceremony, a large number of ‘Hijadas’ or ‘Eunuchs’ come to participate in the celebrations. This is so as Lord Shiva was also referred as ‘Ardhanarishwara’ (half woman half man).

Important Timings On Sital Sasthi

Sunrise30-May-2017 05:45 AM
Sunset30-May-2017 19:04 PM
Shasthi Tithi Begins30-May-2017 08:47 AM
Sunset Tithi Ends31-May-2017 07:10 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

Significance of Sital Sasthi:

As stated in the ‘Shiv Purana’ the day of Sital Sasthi commemorates the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, the divine couple and is celebrated since ancient times. According to the legends, Parvati (an incarnation of Goddess Sati) performed rigorous ‘jap’ and ‘tap’ to get Lord Shiva as her husband. On the day of ‘Jyestha Shukla Paksha Sasthi’ Shiva was pleased and satisfied with her austerity, and the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place. Lord Kartikeya was then born who later killed the demon named ‘Tarakasura’. Sital Sasthi is also observed as ‘Monsoon Wedding’ of Lord Shiva and Parvati as it marks the beginning of the monsoon season. The severe austerity of Lord Shiva is symbolic of the intense heat wave during the summer season. People, especially farmers celebrate the beginning of monsoon with this divine wedding on Sital Sasthi.

Sital Sasthi festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Tuesday, 3rd of June
2015Sunday, 24th of May
2016Thursday, 9th of June
2017Tuesday, 30th of May
2018Monday, 18th of June
2019Sunday, 9th of June
2020Thursday, 28th of May
2021Tuesday, 15th of June
2022Monday, 6th of June
2023Friday, 26th of May
2024Tuesday, 11th of June
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