Shasti in February 2022: Shukla Paksha Shashti is one of the prominent days of Magha month as per the Hindu calendar. For February, Shasti is falling on the 6th of this month. Starting at 3.47 am on February 6, it will end at 4.38 am on February 7. Magha Shukla Paksha Shasti is believed to be an auspicious event in southern states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
In some households, in the month of Magha, Shasti Puja lasts for six days starting from Magha Amavasya and ending on Magha Shukla Paksha Shashti. Shashti Puja is also known as Subrahmanya Shashti Puja in many regions of the south.
People worship Lord Murugan on Magha Shukla Paksha Shasti. The god of war has various names associated with him. People also call them ‘Kartikeya’, ‘Subramaniya’, ‘Skanda’, ‘Kumara Swami’ and ‘Kumaran’. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Murugan was the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He was the chief commander of Deva’s army.
Tamilians have a lot of faith in the lord as the six important shrines are located in Tamil Nadu. People not only worship the lord of Shasti but also observe fast. It is believed that on the day of Magha Shukla Paksha Shashti, Lord Murugan won against the demon ‘Soorapadman’. Therefore, to seek blessings of the lord, people fast and please Lord Murugan to fulfil their wishes.
Devotees wake up early, take bath in the morning, and set up pictures of Lord Ganesh and Lord Murugan at their homes. They offer them flowers, incense, sandal paste, vermilion, turmeric powder and make prasad at home. Devotees also read ‘Skanda Purana’ and recite the ‘Skanda Shashti Kavacham’ while doing the puja.
People can either keep fast for all six days i.e., from Magha Amavasya to Magha Shukla Paksha Shasti or just at the last day depending upon their will and health. They can either keep partial fast or opt for the full day fast. In partial fasting, devotees can eat fruits whereas in a full day fast, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything for 24 hours, not even water. Consumption of alcohol and non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited on this day. Real fasting is keeping the senses calm and staying away from anger and lust.
It is often believed that ones who keep the fast and pray to the lord on the day attain the wilful.