Ratha Saptami is a significant Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Surya, the Sun God. It is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm, with Hindus venerating Lord Surya’s representation as riding a chariot pulled by seven horses. This form is particularly worshipped during the Ratha Saptami festival and puja ceremonies. In 2024, Ratha Saptami falls on February 16.
Ratha Saptami 2024 Overview
Ratha Saptami, also known as Rathasaptami, is celebrated under various names including Achala Saptami and Surya Saptami. It takes place on the Saptami (seventh day) of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the moon) in the Hindu month of Magha. On this day, Surya Dev (Sun God) is the sole focus of worship, symbolizing the importance of sunlight for life on earth.
The festival also marks the birth of the Sun God, hence it is celebrated as Surya Jayanti. According to Hindu mythology, Surya Dev is considered the son of Sage Kashyap and his wife Aditi, making the day even more auspicious as it commemorates the acceptance of Surya by Kashyap and Aditi as their son.
Significance of Ratha Saptami
Ratha Saptami is emblematic of the Sun God’s journey in his divine chariot, signifying the change in seasons and the onset of longer days. It is a day that celebrates light, wisdom, and the energy of the Sun, which sustains life on Earth. The festival underscores the significance of Surya in Hindu mythology as a god who illuminates the world, dispelling darkness and ignorance.
Ratha Saptami Muhurat 2024
The specific timing or Muhurat for Ratha Saptami rituals is determined according to the Hindu calendar. The day is also referred to by names such as Saptami Tithi, Magha Saptami, or Achala Saptami. On this day, Lord Vishnu is also worshipped in his form as Surya Narayana, highlighting the connection between Surya Dev and Vishnu as the preserver of the universe.
Ratha Saptami’s name itself is derived from the belief that Lord Surya’s chariot, symbolizing the motion of the sun in the sky, is celebrated on the seventh day (Saptami) of the Shukla Paksha. This celebration is a reminder of the sun’s journey across the sky, representing renewal, growth, and the elimination of negativity.
The date for Ratha Saptami in 2024 is February 16, marking a special day for devotees to perform puja, offer prayers, and celebrate the grace and blessings of Lord Surya.
|Ratha Saptami 2024 Date
|February 16, 2024
|Ratha saptami Tithi Start Time
|10:12 am on February 15, 2024
|Ratha saptami Tithi End Time
|8:53 am on February 16, 2024
|Ratha Saptami Snan Muhurat
|5:18 am to 6:58 am on February 16, 2024
Ratha Saptami, celebrated on February 16, 2024, is a day dedicated to Lord Surya, the Sun God, known for bestowing health, wealth, fame, energy, knowledge, and protection from negative energies. The festival is observed with great devotion across the nation, where people engage in special puja rituals to honor Lord Surya and seek his blessings.
Celebrations Across India
The devotion to Lord Surya is manifested in numerous temples and sacred sites built in his honor, where grand celebrations take place on Ratha Saptami. This festival sees large-scale festivities in states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, with significant observances at temples such as the Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple, Shri Manguesh Temple, and Mallikarjun Temple. These locations host unique rituals and festivities on the eve of Ratha Saptami, drawing devotees from all over.
Significance of Ratha Saptami
Ratha Saptami marks the birthday of Lord Surya and symbolizes his chariot’s north-easterly turn into the northern hemisphere, heralding a change in season. The day is especially auspicious for farmers, marking the beginning of the harvest season, with prayers offered to the Sun for abundant crops. The festival is significant for its association with Surya Dev’s journey across the sky in a chariot driven by seven horses, with Aruna as the charioteer, representing the distribution of energy and light essential for life.
The festival commemorates the birth of Surya Dev to Sage Kashyap and Aditi. Following his son’s birth, Sage Kashyap expressed his gratitude to Lord Vishnu, who revealed that the child was an incarnation of Surya Dev, destined to shine upon all living and inanimate objects and signify the passage of time through the zodiac.
Ratha Saptami Puja Rituals
Devotees start the day early with prayers and meditation, followed by a ritual bath before dawn, ideally in a holy river, sea, or with Arka plant leaves, symbolizing purification. Offerings to Surya Dev include water (Arghya), a ghee lamp, red flowers, jaggery, kumkum, turmeric, and the chanting of mantras. The Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) is performed, followed by prayers and acts of charity.
Benefits of Ratha Saptami Puja
Observing the Ratha Saptami puja with devotion brings numerous benefits, including:
- Improved physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Fertility benefits, particularly for couples desiring a son.
- Healing of diseases, especially skin and eye conditions, and enhanced immunity.
- Increased courage, strength, and vitality.
- Spiritual purification, aiding in liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
- Success, knowledge, fame, wealth, and overcoming obstacles.
- Mental clarity, reduced stress, and protection from negative energies.
Ratha Saptami is a time of rejuvenation, reflection, and celebration, encouraging devotees to honor the Sun God’s life-giving energy and seek his blessings for a prosperous life.