Salute the Sun on Ratha Saptami
When is Ratha Saptami?
Ratha Saptami falls on Saturday, 1 February.
What is its significance?
Ratha Saptami is the birthday of the Sun God. It is believed that on this day, the Sun, giver of life and light, enlightened the whole world. The Sun is the Self (atman) and his seven horses are the seven cosmic powers. It is believed that whosoever worships the Sun on this day will be rid of ailments and illnesses.
Why is it called Ratha Saptami?
Ratha means chariot. Saptami is the seventh day of the bright moon in the Magha month of the Hindu calendar. On this day, the Sun God is worshipped sitting on his golden chariot led by seven white horses. This image of the Sun God is said to promote health and healing. Since it is the Sun’s birthday, the day is also known as Surya Jayanti. And because it is the perfect day to seek good health, the day is known as Arogya Saptami.
How to celebrate the day?
Get an early start. Rise before sunrise and welcome the Sun to the day with Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations. Chant the Gayatri Mantra, Suryashtakam and Aditya Hrudayam.