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More Details about Festival - Sitala Ashtmi

Goddess Sitala is known as the goddess of disease, epidemics and disaster. Fasting on this day and worshipping the Goddess provides protection against small pox and such other havocs.

The fast starts after worship of Bhagawati on Chetr (March–April) Krishna Ashtami (eighth). On the previous day, food is cooked and kept cold and stale overnight. The fast terminates in midday after invoking the Goddess, by consuming stale food. No fresh food is cooked on this day.

A legend justifying the observance of this fast narrates that there were two families, one of a king and other of an ordinary menial. The sons in the two families got infected with small pox.

The menial was a god fearing person, who used to worship Goddess Sitala everyday and religiously observed all precautions suggested to him in the name of the Goddess; which included isolation, prohibition of fried cooking and eating of hot food. His son recovered day by day.

On the other hand, the king made big arrangement with saints, priest performing yagey (sacred fire) cooking and feeding many, giving a lot in charity. There was no restriction for the son in matters of eating and was allowed anything of his choice.

In spite of all this, the condition of king’s son deteriorated everyday; ultimately the king sought the opinion of the menial concerned, who advised him the proper precautions, fasting and the worship of Goddess Sitala. The result was a quick recovery.


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