Holidays & Observances: Rathasapthami

For all the posts in this Holidays & Observances series, go here.

Prologue: I have been meaning to write a series about Holidays and Observances that we (my family and friends) follow in both India (my birth country) and USA (my adopted country). This series is dedicated to those. On a side note, perhaps I might witness some of the celebrations from other countries as well that may get their way into this series. šŸ™‚

Rathasapthami is the Hindu festival in honor of Sun God Surya celebrated on January 28th this year (2023). It symbolizes God Surya turning his Ratha (= Chariot) drawn by seven horses towards the northern hemisphere in the north-eastern direction. More specifically the change in sun’s direction is what we see starting today.

This festival comes 14 days after Makara Sankranthi festival, the harvest festival. The symbolic significance of this festival comes in a few forms – The seven horses of the Ratha represent the seven days of the week starting with Sunday; the Ratha has 12 wheels symbolizing the 12 Indian Zodiac Signs. The sun moves from every month from one house to the other of each Zodiac sign.

I had been meaning to invite one of my closest group friends for a long time including their families. Finally this year I invited them on the day of Rathasaptami to celebrate the festival of Sankranthi with them, and also do my share of offerings to Sun God. Here is the spread of food I made for the event and some decorations around my home.

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