By Swami Harshananda
Devayātrotsava literally means ‘temple festivals of gods’.
Each temple conducts its own special celebrations to commemorate the consecration of their deities. Such celebrations are called ‘yātrā’ or ‘utsava’ or ‘yātrotsava’. The day this is celebrated is determined based on some some general rules regarding the auspicious days. The following table outlines the days that are generally considered to be auspicious based on the diety whose consecration is being commemorated:
|All gods||Purṇimā||Full-moon day|
|Durgā||Navamī||Ninth day after full-moon or new-moon day|
|Lakṣmī||Pañcami||Fifth day after full-moon or new-moon day|
|Śiva||Aṣṭamī or Caturdaśī||Eighth day after full-moon or new-moon day or Fourteenth day after full-moon or new-moon day|
|Skanda(Saṇmukha)||Saṣṭhī||Sixth day after Full-moon or new-moon day|
|Vināyaka(Gaṇapati)||Caturthī||Fourth day after Full-moon or new-moon day|
Local customs can differ and other days may be chosen for the temple festivals.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore