Shashti Vratam, or Muruga Sashti, is a fasting day dedicated to Lord Muruga. August 2011 Shasti fasting date is August 5. Sashti falls on the sixth day after Amavasai (no moon) and Pournami (full moon) in a month in traditional Hindu calendar. The Shashti day after Amavasi is considered highly auspicious by Muruga devotees and many observe a fast on the day.
Sashti fasting is considered highly auspicious and many Muruga devotees observe a 24-hour fast, while some take a single meal on the day. Devotees visit Lord Muruga temples from early morning and some people only eat the Prasadam given from the temple. Some Muruga temples conduct special pujas and spiritual discourses on the day. There are also temples that provide food to devotees.
Lord Muruga is also known as Skanda, Shanmugha and Subramanian. In
North India, Lord Muruga is known as Kartik or Kartikeya.
Shasti Fasting is widely observed in South India,
Malaysia, Sri Lanka and especially by Tamilians and Malayalis. Singapore