Sashti fasting is dedicated to Lord Muruga and the main observance on the day is fasting. In May 2011, the Sashti fasting date is May 9. This is the Shasti Vritham in the Vaigasi month as per traditional Tamil Calendar.
Shashti fast falls on the sixth day after Amavasi (no moon) and Pournami (full moon) in a traditional Hindu calendar. The Sashti day after Amavasi is chosen by Muruga devotees fasting.
Shasti fasting is mainly observed in
South India and in those regions around the world where Lord Muruga is worshipped. It is a 24-hour fast starting from sunrise to next day sunrise. Most devotees take a single meal on the day.
Lord Muruga is also known as Skanda, Shanmugha and Subramanian. In
North India, Lord Muruga is known as Kartik or Kartikeya.
On Sashti fasting day, devotees visit Lord Muruga temples from early morning and some people only eat the Prasadam given from the temple. Some temples conduct special pujas and spiritual discourse on the Shasti day. There are also temples that provide free food to devotees on the day.
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