Posted on 08/03/2018
Sheetala Mata (शीतला), is a folk deity worshipped by many faiths, not in regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. As an incarnation of Supreme Goddess Durga, she cures poxes, sores, ghouls, pustules and diseases. Seven days after Holi, on Saptami Sheetala Mata is worshipped all over the country, but in Jodhpur, it is worshipped on Ashtami. It may sound strange to hear the reason, but it is true.
Legend has it that Goddess Shitala wears red attire and rides around on a donkey. She has four arms which carry a silver broom, a fan, a bowl and an urn (pot) with Gangajal. She uses these items to rid a house of disease–she sweeps up the germs with her broom, uses the fan to collect them, and dumps them into the bowl. She then sprinkles water from the pot (which is water from the river Ganges) to purify the house. Sheetala’s name means “the cooling one”. Goddess Shitala protects mankind from the deadly diseases and plagues smallpox, chickenpox, measles and skin diseases, which can otherwise have negative effects.
This festival is also known as Basoda Puja. It is celebrated on the Seventh day of the Krishna Paksha during the Hindu month of ‘Chaitra’ after Holi festival. It corresponds to the month of mid-March to April in the Gregorian calendar. For the Year 2018, Sheetala Saptami is on March 08, 2018 and Ashtami is falling on March 09, 2018.