Sankashti Chaturthi (संकष्टी चतुर्थी) also known as Sankata Hara Chaturthi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This day is observed in every Lunar month of Hindu calendar month on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase or the waning phase).
If this Chaturthi falls on a Tuesday it is called Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi. Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi is considered highly important among all Sankashti Chaturthi days. Sankashti Chaturthi comes on every 4th day after Full Moon of Hindu lunar calendar Month. It is believed that Lord Ganesh bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this day. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesh is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.
On this day, the devotees observe strict fast. They break the fast at night after having darshan/auspicious sight of the moon preceded by prayers to Lord Ganesha. The Angaraki Chaturthi (angarak in Sanskrit means red like burning coal ambers and refers to the planet Mars, on whom Tuesday is named after) Devotees believe their wishes would be fulfilled if they pray on this day. Observing this fast is believed to reduce your problems as Lord Ganesha symbolizes the removal of all obstacles and supreme lord of intelligence. Before moonlight the Ganapati Atharvasheersha is recited to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesha. During each month, Lord Ganesha is worshiped with a different name and peeta (seat). On the Sakashta Chaturthi day of each month, the ‘Sankashta Ganapathi Pooja’ prayer is performed. Each ‘Vratha’ (strict fast) has a purpose and is explained to us by a story known as the ‘Vratha Katha’. This prayer offering has 13 Vratha Kathas, one for each month and the 13th story is for ‘adhika’ (The Hindu calendar has one extra month every 4 years). The uniqueness of this Vratha is that the story pertaining to that month alone has to be recited…
Rituals… Bhakti… Love.