Skanda Sashti – 21 April 2018

The 21st of April 2018 marks the holy Hindu event of Skanda Sashti. Skanda is a Sanskrit word. Skanda is a name. Skanda means the Hindu deity Lord Kartikeya. There are more names of Lord Skanda. Lord Skanda is more popular in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Skanda in Buddhism is also a popular Chinese holy being. Sashti means the 6th. Sashti is also a Sanskrit word.

Skanda Sashti is observed on the 6th lunar day of the Shukla Paksha. Shukla Paksha is the waxing-rising phase of the moon. Skanda Sashti is the day to observe Vrat. Vrat means fasting. It means to vow or to dedicate. Periodical fasting is said to be good for health. The fasting is in honor of Lord Skanda. It is to seek his blessings, to safeguard natives.

In Hinduism, Lord Skanda is the God of War. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesha is his younger brother. Some say Lord Ganesha was elder.

Some of the other names of Lord Skanda are Subramanya, Lord Swaminath, Murugan, Muruga, Subramani, Shanmukha, Swaminatha, Kumaraswamy etc.

Skanda Sashti is observed on a monthly lunar calendar basis. The remaining dates of Skanda Sashti for 2018 are: the 20th May, 18th June, 17th July, 16th August, 14th September, 14th October, 13th November and the 13th December.

Skanda Sashti is mostly observed dedicatedly by Tamil Nadu Hindus. Devotees bathe early in the morning. Then they perform prayers. Neither alcohol nor non vegetarian is consumed. A single meal is taken. Juices without salt and fruits are allowed. It is for the entire day. Many devotees visit Lord Skanda temples. These temples are mostly found in South India. Some famous ones are in Madurai, Coimbatore, Chennai etc. 

A common Mantra for Lord Skanda (Kartikeya) is—
Om Sharavana Bhavaya Namaha

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