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Indian Fast & Festivals

Sankashta or Sankashti Chaturthi

The word ‘Sankashta or Sankashti’ has a Sanskrit origin that means ‘deliverance during difficult times’ whereas ‘Chaturthi’ means ‘fourth day or the day of Lord Ganesha’. Therefore, on Sankashti devotees worship Lord Ganesha to help overcome all the obstacles in life and emerge victorious in challenging situations. Furthermore, when Sankashti Chaturthi falls on a Tuesday, it is popular as Angarki Chaturthi and is considered to be the most auspicious of all the Sankashti Chaturthi days.

Significance of Sankashta Chaturthi

Sankashti Chaturthi as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar is celebrated on the fourth day of the Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase or the waning phase) of every month. Sankashti Chaturthi is associated with Lord Ganesha who is widely worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of a journey. There are different forms of Lord Ganesha and it is highly believed that Vighnaraj Maha Ganapati blesses all His devotees during this auspicious festival. Read on to find the dates and timings for all the Sankashti Chaturthi 2024 festivals!

What Does Sankashti Chaturthi Symbolize?

Sankashti Chaturthi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Sankashti means freedom during troubled times, hence observing a fast dedicated to Lord Ganesha on Sankashti Chaturthi is believed to reduce your problems. Remember, Lord Ganesha is symbolized as the remover of all obstacles and the supreme lord of intelligence. If Sankashti Chaturthi falls on a Tuesday it is called Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi. Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi is considered highly auspicious among all the Sankashti Chaturthi festivals that occur in a year. Devotees believe that their wishes can be fulfilled if they pray to Lord Ganesha & observe a ‘vrat’ or fast on this auspicious day.

Keep in mind all the Sankashti Chaturthi 2024 dates and make the most out of this year by seeking Lord Ganesha’s auspicious & protective blessings!

The Story of Lord Ganesha

There is a very popular story written in the holy Hindu scriptures. Lord Ganesha is the son of Maa Parvati and Lord Shiva. Maa Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste that She used for Her bath and breathed life into the figure that She created. She then set him to stand guard at the door of a cave while She bathed inside. Lord Shiva returned and, as Ganesha didn't know Him, so he didn't allow Him to enter. Lord Shiva became enraged and asked His followers & the gods to teach the child some manners.

After the Devas (gods) and the Ganas (Lord Shiva’s followers) were defeated and Lord Shiva Himself went on and fought with Ganesha. Amidst the fighting, Shiva severed the head of the child and this brought on Goddess Parvati's rage. Seeing Her son dead, Maa Parvati revealed Her true self, as the Adi-Shakti, the prime energy that fuels the universe and sustains matter. Taking on a terrible form, She vowed to destroy the universe where Her son was killed and re-create a better one.

All the Devas and Ganas searched the world for a head that could be placed on Ganesha to infuse life back into his headless body. They came across a mother elephant crying for her dead baby. They encouraged the mother to donate her dead baby’s head and resultantly the head of the baby elephant was fixed in place of Ganesha's head. Lord Shiva has also declared that from this day on, the boy would be called "Ganesha" (Gana-Isha: lord of the Ganas). Thus, it is said that merits obtained from observing the fast of Sankashti Chaturthi are enormous.

Sankashti Chaturthi 2024 Dates and Time

January 29th - Jan 29, 6:10 AM - Jan 30, 8:54 AM

February 28th - Feb 28, 1:53 AM - Feb 29, 4:18 AM

March 28th - Mar 28, 6:56 PM - Mar 29, 8:20 PM

April 27th - Apr 27, 8:17 AM - Apr 28, 8:21 AM

May 26th - May 26, 6:06 PM - May 27, 4:53 PM

June 25th - Jun 25, 1:23 AM - Jun 25, 11:10 PM

July 24th - Jul 24, 7:30 AM - Jul 25, 4:39 AM

August 22nd - Aug 22, 1:46 PM - Aug 23, 10:38 AM

September 21st- Sep 20, 9:15 PM - Sep 21, 6:13 PM

October 20th - Oct 20, 6:46 AM - Oct 21, 4:16 AM

November 18th - Nov 18, 6:55 PM - Nov 19, 5:28 PM

December 18th - Dec 18, 10:06 AM - Dec 19, 10:02 AM

How to Celebrate Sankashti Chaturthi?

Sankashta or Sankashti Chaturthi is celebrated every month on the fourth day of the Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase or the waning phase). On this day, devotees observe strict fast. They have to break the fast at night after having darshan/auspicious sight of the Moon preceded by prayers to Lord Ganesha. Before midnight the Ganapati Atharvashesha is recited to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. During each month, Lord Ganesha is worshipped with different names as per the Sankashti of the month.

On the Chaturthi day (4th day after the Full Moon) of each month, the 'Sankashti Ganapati Pooja' is performed. Each and every ‘Vrat’ (strict fast) has a purpose and is explained to us by a story known as the ‘Vrat Katha’. This prayer offering has 13 Vrat Kathas, one for each month and the 13th story is for 'adhika' (The Hindu calendar has one extra month every 4 years).

Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi Vrat

There are a total of 13 Vrats, with each Vrat having a specific purpose and story, known as the ‘Vrat Katha’. Therefore there are 13 ‘Vrat Kathas’ in total, one for every month and the last Katha is for ‘adhika’ that is the one extra month that comes every four years as per the Hindu calendar.

On the day of Sankashti Chaturthi festival, devotees get up early and dedicate the day worshipping Lord Ganesha. They observe a strict fast in the honor of their deity. Some devotees also keep a partial fast. The observer of this fast can only have fruits, vegetables, and roots of plants. The staple Indian diet on this day comprises peanuts, potatoes and ‘sabudana khichadi’.

This year the Sankashti Chaturthi 2024 timings for the first Sankashti in January are Jan 29, 06:10 AM - Jan 30, 08:54 AM.

It is believed that the Vrat observed on a Sankashti Chaturthi can eradicate all the obstacles from the native’s life and promote a happy and peaceful life ahead.


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