Sheetala Ashtami 2023: Date, Time, Puja Rituals, Mythological Tale & more

Sheetala Mata is worshipped on the day of Sheetala Ashtami also known as Basoda. Sheetala Mata is known as the goddess who protects her followers from various serious and communicable diseases. People do not light their kitchen fire on the day of Sheetala Ashtami and instead cook their food a day before and therefore eat stale food on the day of Sheetala Ashtami.

Updated Mar 9, 2023 | 03:02 PM IST

Sheetala Ashtami 2023: Puja Vidhi and methods of celebrations
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According to the North Indian conventional calendar, Sheetala Ashtami is celebrated in the months of Chaitra (March–April). In this one prays to the Goddess Sheetla.
The 8th day of Krishna Paksha in the period of Chaitra and Hindus celebrate it as the Sheetala Ashtami. It is believed that when one practices this Vrata it helps in healing the different ailments that one is suffering from. Sheetala Ashtami is also known by the name Basoda . Sheetala Ashtami 2023 will occur early in the month of March. Know more about this festival and how to celebrate it.
According to the Skanda Purana Goddess Shetala is credited with curing epidemics and sicknesses. People manifest to Sheetala Devi to assist her offspring whenever major epidemics and communicable illnesses break out and threaten humans on Earth. Sheetala Mata has a pot of medical fluid in one hand and a broom or neem twigs in the other, which represent her ability to purify the atmosphere.
Sheetala Ashtami 2023: Date, time & puja muhurat
Sheetla Saptami will be on March 14, 2023, Tuesday. While, Sheetala Ashatami will be in 2023 will be on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. People can perform the Basoda puja at the following time and Shubh muhurat.
Sunrise: 15 Mar 2023 06:39 AM
Sunset: 15 Mar 2023 06:31 PM
Puja Muhurat on Sheetala Ashtami: 15 March 2023 from 06:31 AM to 06:29 PM
SheetalaAshtami Tithi starts: March 14, 2023, 08:22 PM
Sheetala Ashtami Tithi ends: March 15, 2023, 06:45 P
Significance of Sheetla Ashtami
The tale regarding Sheetala Ashtami talks about the demon Jwarasura. It is said that Jwarasura represents many plagues and infectious illnesses in the form of a human. When Jwarasura’s deeds intensify, people start falling ill in large numbers and begin to die. The disease that Jwarasura had unleashed was untreatable by medication, therefore, in desperation people began worshipping the High Priestess, Shakti.
This led to her emergence as Sheetala Mata and she guarded her followers. It is said that she cleared the water and general atmosphere of sickness that was prevailing and cleaned the surroundings. She defeated Jwarasura and turned him into a donkey. This led Jwarasura to expressing regret for his behaviour. He became her go-to person. In many parts of India, folks pray to the deity Sheetla for her ability to cure various illnesses including chickenpox.
During Sheetala Ashtami, old food is offered as part of a special ritual. The food required for Sheetala Ashtami puja is made the day before. On this day, people present Sheetala Devi with a variety of foods. Moreover, people also give old folks food and ask for their blessings.
Food to prepare for Sheetala Ashtami in 2023
  • On the evening before Ashtami, prepare Bhog for Sheetala Mata and make other preparations for the puja.
  • Use pure oil to make the food and jaggery for the one you eat.
  • Moreover, on the Sheetala Ashtami 2023, you must make roti, sweetened rice, besan, and potatoes puris.
  • Also, you can serve black gramme, soaked overnight on the Basoda in some areas.
  • Offer Bhog to Sheetla Devi shrine on this Ashtami day. Present it together with a sweet prepared using milk or milk products.
  • Furthermore, you can also serve butter and curd on sweetened roti.
  • With it, on Basoda 2023, you must offer Sheetala Devi raw lassi in the Bhog too.
  • Young females rever in various cultures on this day and must avoid hot foods.
How to perform Sheetala Ashtami puja in 2023?
  • Custom dictates that households refrain from lighting fires on Sheetala Ashtami to cook. So make meals a day ahead of time and eat the old food on a real day.
  • Follow the tradition of offering old food to Devi Sheetala, igniting the meaning of Basoda.
  • Before the puja, early in the morning, before sunlight, take a bath.
  • Then go to the Sheetala Goddess shrine and offer the Devi Haldi and Bajra in adoration.
  • Make sure, on Basoda in 2023, you listen to the Basoda Vrat Katha after completing the puja rites.
  • Later, present the deity Sheetala rabbi, curd, and other necessary offerings.
  • Make sure, you seek your elders for blessings. Following the same, ready the meals for the Goddess and consume the remaining food throughout the day.
  • Consider the “Basi Khana” as the prasad and serve it to the people in your family.
  • Additionally, make sure you provide the same food to the destitute and underprivileged, as other devotees.
  • Read “Sheetalashtak” on this particular day to get favourable results.
People make a Bhog for Sheetla Mata including cold and stale meals on this specific day and refer it to as Basoda. During Ashtami, this puja is carried out. On this day, worshippers of Devi Sheetla observe a fast as well. The tale of Sheetla Mata is also read out aloud. After that, people read the Sheetlashtak to revere her. The beauty of Sheetla Mata is described by Sheetlashtak. People sing her chants as well.
Basoda celebrations in different parts of India
The word Basoda means ‘stale’. Traditionally people do not light the kitchen fire on the day of Basoda. Instead,stead they prepare their food a day before Basoda, and therefore people eat only stale food. Some families or communities also prepare some special food to celebrate Basoda. People also prepare some special traditional sweets like Gulgule or Meethi Cheela.
In most parts of the country, folks celebrate Basoda on Sheetala Ashtami. On this day devotees worship Sheetla Mata and pray for good health, and protection from epidemic diseases. According to beliefs, she is the goddess of smallpox and by worshiping her on this day, devotees can protect themselves from this and other such afflictions.
  • Rajasthan: In Rajasthan, people organize many special Sheetla Mata fairs. On this day people come to these fairs with full enthusiasm and enjoy the festival, while also worshipping Mata Sheetla to seek her blessings. Malpua, Ker Sangri, Puri, Roti, and Gulgule are the staple foods of Basoda.
  • Madhya Pradesh: In Madhya Pradesh, people organize a grand fair every year at the festival of Basoda in Sheetla Mata Shakti Dham attracting a lot of tourists and devotees from all over the country.
  • Gujarat: The people of Gujarat worship Goddess Sheetla and prepare special food items to celebrate the festival of Basoda.
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