Published On : April 5, 2024  |  Author : Astrologer Umesh
Sheetala Ashtami Vrat

What Is Sheetala Ashtami Vrat?

Sheetala Ashtami Vrat is a religious observance of a fast or vrat that devotees perform during Sheetala Ashtami.

This festival is also known as Basoda Puja in the religious context of Hinduism.

As far as the date of its observance is concerned, according to Hindu Panchang, the festival is celebrated in the Ashtami tithi of Chaitra Krishna Paksha. One of the interesting beliefs associated with the festival is that no oven is lit in any household and a stale Prasad is offered to the goddess of Sheetala. Later, the Prasad is distributed among the devotees who keep staunch fast on this day.

Another interesting fact about the festival is that it is symbolic of seasonal transition considering it heralds the advent of summer.

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Let’s Discuss Some Of The Most Interesting Or Notable Features Of Sheetala Ashtami As Follows –

  • It is also called Basoda Puja
  • The Hindu Panchang times the festival in Ashtami tithi of Chaitra Krishna Paksha.
  • No oven is lit in any household as long as the festival is in effect.
  • Stale Prasad is offered to the goddess Sheetala Mata on this day.
  • The festival is indicative of seasonal transitions, given it signals the arrival of summer.
  • Domestic peace and happiness dwell when devotees worship the deity Sheetala on this day.

What Is The Significance Of Observing Sheetala Ashtami Vrat?

Almost all the festivals being celebrated in India represent Indian cultural vibrancy to a certain degree, and the festival of Sheetala Ashtami Vrat is not an exception in this regard. That said, the festival is one of the most beautiful and auspicious days celebrated by devotees to honour and pay respects to the deity Sheetala to bring forth the results of peace, happiness and prosperity in life.

Hence, speaking from a purely religious standpoint, the day of Sheetala Ashtami Vrat is very important. Devotees who celebrate it get the divine blessings of the deity, which eventually transition their life positively, leading them to success in their chosen endeavour like career or business or peaceful living experience for that matter.

The significance of observing Sheetala Ashtami Vrat is more as it is related to the divine being of Mata Sheetala. Devotees who observe the fast on this day get physical and mental well-being, apart from getting rejuvenated from various types of diseases due to the miracles of observing the festival.

Moreover, domestic peace also becomes an imminent achievement post observing the event for devotes, thereby increasing its significance manifold.

Significance Of Sheetala Ashtami Vrat At A Glance –

  • It is a symbolic advent of seasonal transitions, indicating the advent of summer.
  • It is divinely associated with the goddess Sheetala Mata, one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu religion.
  • Devotees, who celebrate the festival, get divine blessings and domestic peace and prosperity.
  • The festival is also a great remedial solution to many diseases.
  • It helps devotees to get rid of obstacles and achieve desired success.
  • The wishes of devotees get fructified due to the miracle blessings of the deity Sheetala.
  • Goddess Sheetala is considered a deity providing serenity and motherly love.
  • Puja methods to follow during Sheetala Ashtami Vrat:
  • Get up early in the morning, take a holy bath, and wear fine clothes
  • Put things like curd, Pua, Roti, Mallet, Kheer, Mathari etc. on Puja-plate.
  • On another plate, keep materials like diya, roli, clothes, akshat, turmeric, rosary, coins, mehndi, etc.
  • Place a lota between both plates.
  • Apply roli and tika on the goddess.
  • Worship goddess Sheetala Mata.
  • Offer unlit diya to the deity.
  • Sprinkle holy water on the deity. Ask your family members and the attendants to apply the water on their eyes, and sprinkle the rest of the water on every corner of your property.
  • Apply Haldi katika on everyone attending Sheetala Mata Puja.
  • Materials related to puja, if not entirely used, should be donated to Brahmans or fed to the cows.

Story Of Sheetala Ashtami Vrat:

According to a mythological story, once an old woman and two daughters-in-law observed Sheetala Ashtami Vrat. Though, according to the custom, stale rice as Prasad was supposed to be offered to goddess Sheetala, however, the daughters-in-law, by mistake, offered fresh Prasad to the deity. Since both of them gave birth to one infant each, they thought of making something fresh to keep themselves in healthy conditions. When the old woman came to know that her daughters-in-law made something against the custom, she became very angry. However, what was done was done. Soon the evil effect of the wrong offering bore its fruit and both infants died suddenly. Suspecting that it was the deed of enraging the deity Sheetala, the old woman banished both of her daughters-in-law from her house.

With the dead infants in their hands, both the ladies kept on walking their way. After a while, they stopped somewhere to take a rest. There, they came across two sisters; Ori and Sheetala. Both of them were fed up with the head lice. Seeing their conditions, the two ladies (daughters-in-law), out of kindness, helped the sisters by removing their head lice. Experiencing the comfort that those two sisters went through due to the service of the two ill-fated ladies, they blessed them with progeny. Hearing this, the ladies wept bitterly and showed them(the sisters) their dead babies. At this, the sister Sheetala told them that the death of their babies was due to the result of bad deeds that they as a mother did. Both the ladies understood the implication of Sheetala regarding how they offered fresh Prasad, instead of the stale one, to goddess Sheetala. They begged pardon for the mistake of their ritualistic conduct and swore that they would never do something like that mistake ever again. The confession and admittance of the mistake pleased goddess Sheetala, who then returned the life of the lifeless babies. Since then the festival of Sheetala Ashtami and its vrat became a famous religious observance among the devotees.


The festival of Sheetala Ashtami vrat is one of the most auspicious days for devotees, who observe a fast dedicated to goddess Mata Sheetala. On this day, devotees, with staunch devotions for goddess Sheetala, worship the deity by offering stale food as Prasad and pray for peace, happiness, fortunes, fame, and glory. It is also believed to be one of the festivals in India representing the country’s cultural beauty and vibrancy.

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