Sitalsathi is a very significant festival celebrated by Hindus, especially the Utkal Brahmins. The festival celebrates the marriage of revered God in Hindu mythology Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati. It is observed on the sasthi which is the sixth day of the Shukla Paksha (the waxing phase of moon) in the Jyestha month of the traditional Hindu calendar. So the dates of marking this festival differ. Sital sasthi 2019 will be marked on June 9. This day is celebrated in great fervour in Sambalpur region of Odisha. The festive celebrations of this day started almost 400 years ago. Let us know more about the history and significance of this day. Mahashivratri and Women’s Day 2019: How Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s Wife, is the Unsung Heroine of the Story.
History and Significance of Sitalsasthi
The festival of Sital Sasthi is observed as the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is celebrated as the ‘Sital Sasthi Yatra Festival’. This day is depicted in the Shiva Purana. A demon named Tarakasur was creating trouble and devastation in the world so all the devatas approached Lord Vishnu to find a solution. Tarakasura was bestowed with a boon that he could be killed only by the son of Shiva. Shiva had lost his first wife and was also under deep meditation. He was in no condition to be married again. So Lord Vishnu suggested to all Devatas to request Shakti to take birth as Parvati. So Parvati was born as the daughter of Himalaya and grew into a supremely beautiful woman.
But before marrying Parvati, Lord Shiva wanted to test her love. He incarnated himself as a short person and suggested her to many someone else. But she wasn’t happy with the suggestion and got rather angry. She spoke about Shiva and advocated her love for him. She mentioned that she is attracted to him for knowledge and that she would marry him or no one else. And satisfied with her answer Lord Shiva appeared in his divine self and they got married on Jyeshta Shukla paksha Panchami. Reasons Why Lord Shiva is a Favourite God Amongst All!
Celebrations of Sitalsasthi
The celebrations of Sitalsasthi take place in Sambalpur and the festivities last for a period of 5 days. Every year a family is chosen to play the role of Parvati’s family and Lord Shiva. A marriage ceremony is played out, where in Parvati is handed over to Lord Shiva. The entire process is carried on over 5 day period from Parvati’s adoption to turning her into a bride for the marriage ceremony.
This ceremony is so significant it attracts not just devotees but even tourists from other parts of the country. Once the divine couple is married, a procession is taken out which takes them through the town. This ritual is known as Sital Sasthi Yatra. Along with this a lot of folk dances, music and other events are held in the region.