Rathasaptami. According to mythology, Sun is the God for all religions.
Saluting the Sun God
According to mythology, Sun is the God for all religions. The Sun God rides on a chariot with seven horses, who gives light and health to all the living creatures in the world. Rathasaptami falls on the seventh day (saptami) in the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month, Maagha. It marks the seventh day following the Sun’s northerly movement (Uttarayana) of vernal equinox starting from Capricorn (Makara). It is symbolically represented in the form of the Sun God turning his Ratha (Chariot), drawn by seven horses (representing seven colours), towards the northern hemisphere, in a north-easterly direction. It also marks the birth of Surya and hence it is celebrated as Surya Jayanti (the Sun God’s birthday). Rathasaptami is symbolic of the change of season to spring and the start of harvesting season. For most Indian farmers, it is an auspicious beginning of the New Year. The festival is observed by all Hindus in their houses and in innumerable temples dedicated to the Sun across India.
A fair is organised in reverence to the Sun God. A puja is performed which includes offering of food (Naivedhya) to the Sun God, giving Argyam (water in palms) and offering sacrifices to the fire. Those who follow all the rituals associated with the puja believe that they will be bestowed with peace and prosperity throughout the year.