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Skanda Sashti is dedicated to Lord Muruga , Subramanya Shashti, or Skanda Sashti, during Shukla Paksha of Margashirsh month (November - December) is observed mainly in Tamil Naduand parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Skanda Shasti celebrates the victory of Lord Skanda over demon Surapadma. Tamilians, especially Muruga devotees, around world observe fasting for six days before the festival. It is a major festival in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, other parts of South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa.

Son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the divine incarnation of Skanda was to primarily annihilate the demons that had created anarchy on earth and restore Dharma. He was the commander of the army of the Devas.

A six day battle took place with Demon Surapadma and on the sixth day Muruga killed Skanda killed Demon Surapadma (Soorasamharam) with his ‘Vel' or lance.

Legend has it that Muchukunda, a King South India, was advised by saint Vasishta regarding the correct observances of the Skanda Sashti Vratam.

After observing the Vrata, King Muchukunda became powerful and famous and the fame of his kingdom spread around the three worlds. It is said that the King became so powerful that Lord Indra (the king of demi-gods) took his help to defeat Asuras.

The fasting of Skanda Shasti begins on the Pradma Thithi after Deepavali in Tamil Nadu. The first day after the Amavasi that follows Deepavali. During the fasting period, devotees confine to a single meal. Some people only fast on the Soorasamharam day. The fasting ends with the Tirukalyanam on the next day.

 

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