Skanda Sashti is observed on the sixth day of the bright fortnight of the Tamil month of Aippasi (October – November). This day is dedicated to the second son of Lord Shiva – Lord Subramanya, also known as Kartikeya, Kumaresa, Guha, Murugan, Shanmukha and Velayudhan, who on this day, is believed to have annihilated the mythical demon Taraka. Celebrated in all Shaivite and Subramanya temples in South India, Skanda Sashti commemorates the destruction of evil by the Supreme Being

How to Celebrate Skanda Shasthi

On this day, elaborate festivals are held with grandeur in South India. In many places the festival commences six days before the Sashti day and concludes on the day of the Sashti. During these days, devotees recite inspiring hymns, read stories of Subramanya, and enact the exploits of the Lord on stage. Thousands of people gather for feasts, and massive amounts of camphor are burnt

Skanda Temples & Subramanya Shrines

Well known temples of Lord Subramanya can be found in Udipi, Tiruchendur, Palani Hills, Tiruparankundrum, Tiruchendur and Kathirgamam in South India, as well as in Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Large fairs and festivals are held in these temples every year on Skanda Sashti.

Penance and Piercing

It is customary to undergo penance on Skanda Sashti in the form of carrying a ‘Kavadi’ to the various Subramanya shrines. Many devotees also pierce long needles through their cheeks, lips and tongue as they go into a delirium charmed by the powers of the Lord.