A special Puja dedicated to Maa Sheetala on Krishna Paksha Saptami after the festival of Holi is known as Sheetala Saptami. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls on the seventh day after the festival of colours. This year, Sheetala Saptami will be celebrated on March 8.
Interestingly, it coincides with Women’s Day celebrations.
Mounted on a Donkey, Maa Sheetala is depicted with four hands. She is represented as a young lady holding a broom, a fan, a bowl of pulses and a pot full of water.
Sheetala Saptami is generally celebrated in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Check out the Tithi here:
According to Drikpanchang, Saptami Tithi begins at 2:00am March 8 and ends at 03:44 am on March 9.
Here’s the Puja timing - Sheetala Saptami Puja Muhurat = 6:42 am to 18:21pm.
Devotees don’t cook on this day. They usually consume food cooked a day before. It is believed that Maa Sheetala cures diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox and measles.
वन्दे हं शीतलां देवी रासभस्थां दिगम्बराम्।
One can also chant this simple mantra to see Maa Sheetala’s blessings.
हृं श्रीं शीतलायै नमः
An incarnation of Goddess Durga, Sheetala has the powers to calm the mind and body. Sheetala literally means one who cools. And hence, she is often worshipped during illness and to recover quickly from diseases. In several regions, people offer Neem leaves (that are therapeutic value) to the Goddess as a token of gratitude during illnesses.