It is an important Hindu festival that celebrates Lord Muruga, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is celebrated on the sixth day of the Tamil month of Aippasi (October-November). This festival is celebrated to invoke the blessings of Lord Muruga for health, wealth, prosperity and happiness in life. Skanda Shasta is also known as Subramanya Shasta and is one of the most important and sacred festivals in Hinduism. It is believed that Lord Muruga appeared in the form of a six-faced deity (Stand) on this day. Hence, this day is celebrated as a special occasion to honour Him and seek His divine blessings. The festival starts with a puja (ritual worship) performed in temples dedicated to Lord Muruga.
Devotees offer prayers to Lord Muruga and chant mantras dedicated to him. People also perform special rituals such as lighting lamps filled with ghee (clarified butter) and kumkum (vermilion) and offering fruits and flowers to the deity. Devotees also take part in a grand procession carrying idols of Lord Muruga in various forms such as Shanmugam, Subramaniam and others.
During the procession, devotees sing hymns and chant mantras dedicated to Lord Muruga. At the end of the procession, devotees visit different temples dedicated to Him and worship there too. Skanda Shasta is also a special time for couples who are planning to get married, as it symbolizes Lord Muruga union with his divine consort Valli. It is believed that couples who worship Lord Muruga on this day will be blessed with a happy married life.
On this day, some devotees observe fasts () and chant mantras dedicated to Lord Muruga throughout the day. People also read the Skand Purana that contains stories related to Lord Muruga. At night, devotees’ light lamps in their homes, sharing the light with others too.
Skanda Shasta is an important occasion that symbolizes devotion, faith and surrender to God Almighty. It is believed that people who observe this festival with utmost devotion will be blessed with success, health, wealth and peace of mind. Hence, devotees participate in various rituals associated with this festival in order to please Lord Muruga. and seek His divine blessings.