Skanda Shasti, also known as Kanda Shashti, is one of the most revered festivals in Indian culture. Dedicated to Lord Murugan, also known as Skanda, it is celebrated with great fervour and devotion by Hindus, particularly in the southern states of India.

Importance of Skanda Shasti:

Skanda Shasti holds immense religious significance as it commemorates the victory of Lord Murugan over the demon Surapadman. According to the scriptures, Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, played a pivotal role in defeating evil forces and restoring peace and righteousness. Thus, this festival represents the triumph of good over evil.

Rituals of Skanda Shasti:

Fasting: Devotees observe a six-day fasting period, known as "Sashti Vratam," preceding Skanda Shasti. This fasting involves abstaining from certain foods and maintaining strict discipline to purify the mind and body.

Kavadi Attam: One of the most visually captivating rituals of Skanda Shasti is the Kavadi Attam. Devotees carry a Kavadi, a decorated wooden or metal arch, on their shoulders as an act of penance. This symbolic gesture manifests the devotee's surrender and dedication to Lord Murugan.

Pooja and Abhishekam: Elaborate ceremonies and special puja are held at Murugan temples during Skanda Shasti. Devotees offer prayers, flowers, and fruits to seek Lord Murugan's blessings. Abhishekam, a ceremonial bath of the deity's idol with sacred substances like milk and honey, is performed, signifying purification and devotion.

Recitation of Skanda Shasti Kavacham: Devotees recite the Skanda Shasti Kavacham, a powerful hymn composed by the saint, Kachiappa Sivachariar. This hymn glorifies Lord Murugan and invokes his blessings for protection and prosperity.

Processions and Bhajans: Colorful processions, accompanied by devotional singing (bhajan) and dancing, are organized during Skanda Shasti. Devotees participate in these processions and immerse themselves in the divine atmosphere, expressing their reverence and happiness.


Skanda Shasti is not merely a religious festival but a spiritual journey that enables devotees to seek the blessings of Lord Murugan and experience divine grace. The rituals of fasting, Kavadi Attam, pooja, abhishekam, recitation of Skanda Shasti Kavacham, processions, and bhajans create an atmosphere of devotion, unity, and joy among the devotees. This celebration strengthens faith, promotes cultural heritage, and exemplifies the eternal victory of righteousness over evil. As we celebrate Skanda Shasti, let us immerse ourselves in the divine energy and invoke the blessings of Lord Murugan for a life filled with peace, prosperity, and spiritual growth.