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Skanda Shasti Fasting

Skanda Shasti fasting, or Kanda Sasthi, is an important Hindu fasting dedicated to Lord Muruga or Kartikeya. Skanda Shasthi fasting is mainly observed in South India – Tamil Nadu and Kerala – and by Tamilians around the world – Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka. In 2016, Skanda Shasti fasting begins on October 31 and ends on November 6. The date of Soorasamharam is on November 5. It is observed in the Tamil month of Aippasi (October-November) and commemorates the victory of Skanda over Demon Surapadma.

Shasti, the sixth day in a month of Hindu lunar calendar, is generally dedicated to Lord Muruga, also known as Subramanian.

The fasting of Skanda Shasti begins on the first Thithi after Deepavali. Legend has it that the battle between Lord Skanda and demon Surapadma continued for six days. Soorasamharam (killing of the demon) took place on the sixth day of the battle and Muruga killed the demon with his ‘Vel’ or lance.

During the fasting period, devotees confine to a single meal. Some people only fast on the Soorasamharam day. The fasting ends with the Tirukalyanam on the next day.

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