Shashthi (Sanskrit: षष्ठी, Ṣaṣṭhī) also referred to as Chhath is the sixth day or tithi of a Paksha or fourteen-day phase of the moon. The word comes from the Sanskrit cardinal ṣaṣ (six), whence the ordinal number (linguistics) ṣaṣṭha (sixth), fem. ṣaṣṭhī (days of the paksha are feminine gender). The sixth tithi, especially in the waxing period (shuklapaksha), is important in several rituals including:
- Durga Puja (September–October, east India, Bengal)
- Sitalsasthi (May–June, Orissa, neighbouring regions)
- Skanda Shashti or Subramanya Shashti (November–December, south India, Tamil Nadu)
- Chhath, a major sun-worshiping day of Hindus is celebrated on sixth day Shukla Paksha of Kartika.
Skanda Shasti Vratham The Skanda Shasti or Kanda Shasthi Vratham is an important observance. It is especially for Lord Muruga. The festival is observed in Aippasi. Devotees fast during these six days. Although the festival is dedicated to Lord Murugan, Shukla Paksha Sashti in the lunar month of Kartika is the more significant one of the two. Devotees fast for six days. This lasts on the Soorasamharam day. The day after Soorasamharam is Tiru Kalyanam. The day after Soorasamharam is known as Subramanya Shashti, or Kukke Subramanya Sashti. It falls during lunar month Margashirsha.
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