The Rath Saptami

In accordance with a traditional Hindu lunar calendar, the seventh day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Magha in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra (and in the month of Thai or Masi in Tamil Nadu) marks the steepest inclination of the Earth towards the Sun. This auspicious day is considered as Surya Jayanti, the birth of Surya Deva to Rishi Kashyap and Aditi. Customarily, even today, with Surya Deva VahanaSena in the mornings and NijaRupaDarshan from 5am to 2pm, this SaptamiTithi is celebrated as RathSaptami or AchalSaptami (MaghaSaptami in Orissa). The Rath Saptami Puja 2017 will be observed on the 03rd of February, Friday.


Traditionally, the following rituals, with certain regional variations, are said to be followed on RathaSaptami:

  1. Head bath, thrice, during Arunadaya (before sunrise), while chanting the “SaptaSaptaMahaSapta, SaptaDweepaVasundhra, SaptaarkaParnamaadyaa, SaptamiRahdaSaptami” and with Arka or Erukku leaves placed on the shoulders, thighs, chest, back and over the head.
  2. Then one or all of the Surya Sahasranama, Surya Ashtakam, Aditya Hridayam and Gayatri Mantra prayers are recited to the Sun God, over an earthen pot of overflowing boiling milk. The milk is allowed to boil over thrice.
  3. The remaining milk is used to prepare “Parvanam” to be offered as “Naivedyam”.
  4. A rangoli or kolam depicting a Lord Surya riding a “rath” is commonly seen in front of the houses cleaned and decked up, usually with mango leaves, for this festivity.
  5. Some people also fast in deference to the Surya Devta.
  6. Prasadam, most commonly sweet pongal and vadai, are offered to the Sun God and then distributed among devotees.


At the TirumalaTirupatiBalaji Temple and in the temples of Arasavalli, Srikakulam Town, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India, MaghaSaptami is the most important festival celebrated as the symbolic change to the harvesting season of Spring. Special rays and virations, trusted to purify our bodies, are believed to be present in the premises of these temples housing Surya Devta on a chariot with twelve wheels, symbolizing the twelve zodiac signs and the twelve months of a year, and seven horses, representing the seven colours of light (VIBGYOR).


The five days of Diwali festivities in 2017 shall begin two days earlier on the 30th of Setember  with the commemoration of the emergence of Lord Dhanvantari, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the discoverer of medicine and the physician of the Heavens.



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Translating into two Sanskrit words- Dhan meaning wealth and Teras implying thirteen, Dhanteras also stands for Dhantryaodashi or DhanwantriTriodasi.


This thirteenth day of the Ashwin month of the Hindu lunar calendar (the second half of the lunar month) is considered to be prosperous for the purchase of precious metals, in the form of utensils or ornaments or simple coins, as a show of great regard to the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, Goddess Lakhsmi. Houses are lit up with decorative diyas, fancy candles, augmented lamps and lanterns to welcome the Goddess amidst all the crackers and fireworks. Lord Ganesha is also worshipped along with Goddess Laksgmi on this festival of wealth, fortune and prosperity. Colourfulrangolis enhance the bright festoons. Shops get filled with special Dhanteras Puja 2017 gifts since this day is believed to be idle for starting any new project in hand, making a fruitful investment or even for tying the knot!

In India, this festival is celebrated with great joy by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains alike.

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Category: festival 2017

Jan, 12 2017 02:24 pm