Skanda Sashti

Skanda Sashti

October-November; six days beginning the sixth day of the waxing half of the Tamil month of Aippasi (Hindu month of Asadha)
Skanda is a son of Shiva. He is also known as Subrahmanya, especially in southern India. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva cast his seed into fire, where it was afterwards received by the river goddess Ganga (the Ganges River), who "gave birth" to Skanda. She hid him among the rushes on the bank of the river, where he was found by the six karttikas (the Pleiades) and raised by them, for which reason he has six heads and is often referred to as Skanda-Karttikeya. He was born for the purpose of destroying Taraka, a demon whom the gods particularly wanted to get rid of. The festival known as Skanda Sashti celebrates Taraka's defeat.
The focus of the celebration is the six holy places in southern India associated with Skanda, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu. Thousands of Hindus gather at each of these temples to sing hymns, chant psalms, and dramatize scenes from the god's life. Hindus believe that observing this festival ensures success, prosperity, happiness, and peace.
See also Sithinakha
CONTACTS:
Arulmigu Subramanya Swami Temple
Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu 628 215 India
91-4639-42221
www.tiruchendur.org
SOURCES:
DictHindu-1977, p. 281
RelHolCal-2004, p. 177