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Ratha Sapthami

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Ratha Sapthami

Ratha Sapthami is celebrated as the change of season which marks the beginning of harvest season. Lord Suryanarayana (Lord Vishnu’s form) is the deity that is worshipped during this festival. It is believed that Lord Surya moves from the South east direction to the North east direction. Lord Surya’s Ratha is driven by Arjuna with seven horses. The seven horses represent the seven colors of the rainbow and the seven days of the week. The 12 wheels of the chariot symbolize the 12 zodiac signs. Ratha Sapthami is also the birth of Lord surya to Sage Kashyapa and Aditi. It is also known as Surya Jayanthi.

Women put rangolis in front of the houses representing Sun god with seven chariots. The Holy bath also known as Ratha Sapthami snan is one of the most significant ritual on the festival day. Devotees wake up before the sunrise and the bath is taken during the sunrise. Having this holy bath shall cure all the illness and grants good health to the devotees. Arka leaf plays a significant role during the snan. Women shall take the bath by placing seven Arka leaves (One on the head, two on the shoulders, two on the knees and two on the feet) on their body topped with turmeric and raw rice. Whereas men bathe with Arka leaves without turmeric and rice Post the bath, devotees offer Arghyadan during the sunrise. This ritual is performed by offering water in a small kalash with Namaskar mudra. This ritual is performed 12 times by chanting twelve names of Surya Bhagwan each time. Chakkara Pongal is the main naivedyam prepared on this day. Chakkara Pongal, wadas, coconuts, fruits, beetle leaves and fruits are offered to Lord Surya.