Skanda Sashti is a monthly Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Skanda, the son of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Skanda is a popular Hindu deity among Tamil Hindus. Skanda Sashti is observed on Sashti Tithi (sixth day) of Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the Moon) every month.
This festival derives its name from the fact that it falls on the sixth day of the lunar fortnight, according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
Date and time:
Skanda Shasti Jyestha Tithi starts at 10.56pm on June 15, after Panchami ends. It will last upto 10.46 pm on June 16.
The holy occasion is observed with great devotion, enthusiasm and grandeur. Though all shasti tithis are dedicated to lord Kartikeya, shukla paksha tithi is veryspecial as it commemorates Kartikeya’s birth anniversary. Devotees of the lord observe fast either for 6 days or on the Skanda Shasti day itself to seek blessing from him.
Lord Skanda’s idol is worshipped with sandalwood paste, kumkum, turmeric, flowers. Incense sticks and a lamp.Aarti with camphor is done as a ritual. The lord is offered fruits, sweets and a dish named sweet pongal -prepared by South Indian households. It is then distributed as ‘prasadam’.
Those who observe fast should avoid solid food and stick to liquid diet. On breaking the fast, a ‘sattvic bhojan’ is consumed, devoid of garlic, onion. Chanting the hymn of Skanda Shasti Kavacham, listening to Skanda Puranastories and reciting bhajans on this day purify the mind and spiritually uplift devotees.