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Sheetla Ashtami –Celebration for Goddess Sheetla
The festivals celebrated in Rajasthan have its own charm. The fairs and festivals celebrated in this state are memorable attached with their old rituals, customs and traditions. One of the grand festivals celebrated in Rajasthan is Sheetla Ashtami. This festival is celebrated during the spring season mostly in the month of March or the start of April month, usually after the seven days from Holi. It is one of the very important Hindu festivals celebrated on large scale in Rajasthan. In Rajasthan, this festival is also called as “Basoda” and “Sheetla Ashtami”. This festival is celebrated in the dark half of Chaitra Masa.
Highlights of the Festival
It is believed that people worshipping this festival help them by preventing from deadly outbreak of diseases. Goddess Sheetla Mata is worshipped as the goddesses of Small pox. The gusto celebration of the festival is huge excitement from devotes and is worth to watch. During this festival, the markets of Rajasthan are worth to visit. There are lot of ingenious shoes, agricultural implements and food items displayed and sell during the festival. In addition to these, you can even witness that people also sell cattle over here. To add exquisite beauty in the environment, people from all walks of life wear colourful dresses. In order to add more excitement to the festival there are musical folk programmes arranged by the local people. It truly reflects the true festive mood of the people enjoying every moment of the Sheetla Ashtami. Various people take part in the musical program to showcase their talent. Apart from musical programs, a lot of rituals plays are been performed to entertain the people. Some people feed needy people in order to seek their blessings.
Devotes prepare food sumptuous food not on the festival. They cook food one day before and consume staple food on the festival. This is because they believe that don’t lit fire for cooking on this auspicious day. People visit the temple of Sheetla Ashtami to offer prayers. People offer local lingo as Prasad that mostly includes curd, rabri and bajra. These three food items are the main ingredients on this occasion.
Sheetla Ashtami is celebrated on huge platform in every small villages of Rajasthan. It is common belief among devotes that worshipping this goddess would prevent them from any kind of epidemic diseases. The Sheetala Mata fair is held at Chaksu, Jaipur, Kaga and Jodhpur every year.
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