Sakat Chauth and Tilkut Chauth: Dates, Significance and Rituals
Sakat Chauth and Tilkut Chauth are two Hindu festivals that are celebrated on the same day in the month of Magha (January-February). Sakat Chauth is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. Tilkut Chauth is dedicated to Surya, the sun god. Both festivals are observed by fasting and offering prayers to the respective deities.
Sakat Chauth is also known as Sankashti Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi. It falls on the fourth day of the waning phase of the moon (Krishna Paksha) in every lunar month. On this day, devotees worship Lord Ganesha and seek his blessings for removing obstacles and granting success in their endeavors. They also listen to the story of Sakat Chauth or Ganesh Vrat Katha, which narrates how Lord Ganesha helped a poor woman named Sakat to overcome her difficulties.
Tilkut Chauth is also known as Maghi Tilkut or Makar Sankranti. It falls on the same day as Sakat Chauth in the month of Magha, which coincides with the winter solstice. On this day, devotees worship Surya and offer him tilkut, a sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery. They also fly kites and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Tilkut Chauth marks the beginning of the auspicious period of Uttarayan, when the sun moves northward.
Both Sakat Chauth and Tilkut Chauth are celebrated with great fervor and devotion by Hindus across India. They believe that observing these festivals will bring them prosperity, happiness and good health.
Here are some more details about Sakat Chauth and Tilkut Chauth:
- The fasting on Sakat Chauth begins at sunrise and ends after seeing the moon at night. The devotees break their fast by offering water, flowers and durva grass to Lord Ganesha and then partaking of the prasad (sacred food).
- The fasting on Tilkut Chauth is optional and varies from region to region. Some people fast till noon, while others fast till sunset. The devotees break their fast by offering tilkut to Surya and then eating it along with other delicacies.
- The rituals on Sakat Chauth include installing an idol or a picture of Lord Ganesha at home and performing puja (worship) with sandalwood paste, vermilion, flowers, incense, lamps and modak (a sweet dumpling). The devotees also recite the Ganesh Atharvashirsha, a hymn in praise of Lord Ganesha.
- The rituals on Tilkut Chauth include taking a bath in a river or a pond and wearing new clothes. The devotees also decorate their homes with rangoli (colorful patterns) and toran (door hangings). They also distribute tilkut to their friends and relatives.
Here is a possible conclusion for the article:
Sakat Chauth and Tilkut Chauth are two festivals that celebrate the power and grace of Lord Ganesha and Surya. They are also occasions to express gratitude and joy for the blessings of life. By observing these festivals with faith and devotion, the devotees hope to attain peace, prosperity and happiness.