Ratha Saptami is called Surya Jayanti as it marks the birth of Surya.
New Delhi: Ratha Saptami
is an annual Hindu festival that is dedicated to Surya, the sun god. Ratha Saptami
is also called Surya Jayanti
as it marks the birth of Surya
and referred as Magha Saptami
as it falls on the seventh day (Saptami
) in the bright half Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month Maagha
. It's symbolic representation is sun god Surya turning his Ratha
or chariot drawn by seven horses. The seven horses are said to represent the seven days of a week starting with Sunday, the day of Sun god Surya. The chariot has 12 wheels, which represents the 12 zodiac signs.Ratha Saptami
also marks the change of season to spring and the start of the harvesting season. Farmers also mark it as beginning of the new year. The famous sun temples of India - Konark Sun Temple in Odisha, Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat, Martand Sun Temple in Jammu and Kashmir, Arasavalli Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and Suriyanar Kovil in Tamil Nadu - are decked up on this day and devotees throng in large numbers and offer prayers to the sun god. The preferred time for the pooja is considered to be within one hour after sunrise.
God Vishnu in his form as Surya
(the Sun God) is worshipped on this day. In Vaishnavite temples such as the Tirumala, Srirangam, Srirangapattana and Melukote, Ratha Saptami is one of the important festivals of the year. A one-day Brahmotsavam
is held in Tirumala on this day. Elaborate preparations for prayers, festive food, prasad
, security and other arrangements are made at all the Surya temples.