One of the most important celebrations according to the Hindu mythology is the Skanda Sashti festival. This festival is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Kartikeya is a God with many names as his devotees regard him as Kumar, Subramanya and Murugan, Shanmukha and Velayudhan. This festival is celebrated majorly in Shiva and Subramanya temples in South India.
The Skanda Sashti festival takes place in order to celebrate the victory of Lord Skanda over the demon Surapadma. As per the Tamil calendar, this festival is observed on the sixth day of the lunar month. The Skanda Sashti is also known as the Kandha Sashti.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, Chaitra Skanda Sashti will be celebrated in India. It is believed that on this day, Lord Murugan himself will answer a devotee's prayers if they observe a fast.
The Skanda Sashti festival also consists of devotees spending six days in Skanda temples, reciting poems and inspiring hymns in order to remember Lord Kartikeya. An enactment of Lord Skanda killing demon Surapadma can also be witnessed during this festival.
Devotees observe a strict six-day fast during the Skanda Sashti festival which also puts various restrictions too. Devotees only eat one meal in a day and refrain from dishes made from garlic or onion. It is believed that devotees do not just fast to show their love for Lord Kartikeya, but also in order to receive inner peace and satisfaction.
Various devotees choose to observe hard penance in order to show their dedication to Lord Kartikeya's might, strength and valour. A six-day fast and religious period is observed because Lord Kartikeya's favourite number is believed to be number six. The Mantras recited to worship Lord Kartikeya also consists of only six syllables which make the significance of number six with Lord Kartikeya even further.