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Ratha Saptami 2024: Celebrating the Auspicious Hindu Festival

New Delhi, February 16, 2024

Ratha Saptami, also known as Magha Saptami, is a sacred Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Surya. Observed on the seventh day (saptami) during the bright lunar fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Magha month, this festival carries deep spiritual significance for devotees across the globe.

The Spirit of Ratha Saptami: On this revered day, devotees partake in various rituals to honor Lord Surya. They observe a daylong fast, offer arghya (obeisance) to the rising sun, and rise early to commence the day with devotion. It’s believed that worshiping the Sun God on Ratha Saptami absolves one of sins and invites prosperity into their lives. The term Ratha signifies chariot, while Saptami denotes the seventh day. Legend has it that Lord Surya embarks on his journey toward the northern hemisphere in a celestial chariot drawn by seven horses.

Ratha Saptami 2024 Date and History: This year, Ratha Saptami 2024 falls on February 16. The festival is steeped in mythology, with tales of sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi being blessed with the incarnation of Lord Surya. Another legend narrates the story of King Yashovarma, who, after performing Ratha Saptami rituals, witnessed divine intervention that cured his ailing son, securing his lineage.

Significance of Ratha Saptami: As Lord Surya embarks on his northward journey, Ratha Saptami heralds the onset of spring and the commencement of the harvesting season. Farmers seek divine blessings for a bountiful yield and favorable weather conditions throughout the year. The festival underscores the significance of sun worship, as mentioned in ancient scriptures like the Vedas. It’s a time for expressing gratitude towards the Sun for sustaining life on earth and spreading warmth and brightness. Additionally, Ratha Saptami serves as an occasion for acts of charity, including donating clothes and food to the less fortunate, while praying for longevity, prosperity, and good health.

Ratha Saptami Shubh Muhurat and Rituals:

  • Date: February 16, 2024 (Friday)
  • Auspicious Bath Timing: 5:17 am to 6:59 am
  • Civil Dawn: 6:35 am
  • Observational Sunrise: 6:59 am
  • Saptami Tithi Begins: 10:12 am on Feb 15, 2024
  • Saptami Tithi Ends: 8:54 am on Feb 16, 2024

The day’s rituals commence with a morning bath during the auspicious Arunodaya period, followed by worshiping Lord Surya at sunrise and offering arghya. Lighting a ghee lamp and using traditional puja items such as camphor, incense, and red flowers enhance the spiritual fervor of the celebrations.

Ratha Saptami epitomizes reverence for the celestial forces that govern life and sustenance, fostering a sense of divine connection and gratitude among devotees.

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