Sitala Satam and Significance of Cold Leftovers

Shitala Satam is a celebration of the Goddess Shitala Devi.


What is Shitala Satam?

Shitala Satam is observed primarily in Gujarat in honor of Shitala Devi, the Goddess of measles and pox. It is celebrated to receive protection against diseases and for good health for your children. In Sanskrit, the name "Sheetala" means "the one who cools". She gives relief from suffering, much like a cool breeze relieves the weary traveler on a sweltering day.

What do you need to do for Shitala Satam?

The main point of Shitala Satam is the idea of cleanisng oneself from any impurities or evil eye. This is a matter of protection from ill will, suffering, and sickness. There are many forms of cleansing that worshippers partake in on Shitala Satam.

Cleansing the Body:

The festival is celebrated to receive a long healthy life for the family and protection against diseases. Like many other Hindu festivals, it usually takes place during a change of season.

Meal preparation: Prepare a special meal with cool and sour foods a day earlier

Clean Home: Creating a healthy environment

Clean Body: Bath with room temperature water. No hot water

Observe Fast: Eat only the foods prepared the prior day, without reheating it

Significance of Fasting:

A very important aspect of cleansing the body is the fasting. There are very particular requirements. The food needs to be cold leftovers. Why cold leftovers, you ask. This is because the food is kept overnight at room temperature and often tends to become a little sour (lightly fermented). The probiotic bacteria help strengthen immunity during change of season. 

Some benefits to eating cold food include beating the summer heat. Cold foods provide relief from the sweltering heat. Cold foods also give an immunity boost, some cold foods like curd, are known for their probiotic properties. Lastly they help with hydration, cold foods and drinks can help maintain hydration levels.


The Story of Shitala Devi:

Once upon a time, in a faraway village, a terrible illness started to spread, making people weak and covered in painful sores. The kind-hearted Shitala Devi saw their suffering and came to help!

With her gentle touch, she soothed their fevers, like a cool breeze on a hot day. She blessed the village well, turning its water into a magical cure. People drank the blessed water, and their strength returned. Laughter filled the streets, and even the elderly danced with joy. The news of Shitala Devi's healing powers spread and people from near and far became cured.




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Modi Toys is a children's brand of toys and books inspired by ancient Hindu culture. We exist to spread joy and to spark curiosity in the next generation through our innovative soft plush toys, illustrated children's books and free learning resources. Our weekly Theology Thursday series covers a wide range of topics rooted in Hinduism to help us better understand the origins of traditions, the symbolic meaning of rituals, and the stories behind Hindu holidays and festivals. The more we can understand "the why" behind this 4,000 year ancient religion, and make sense of it in this modern age, the greater we can appreciate and preserve our rich Hindu culture. While we take great care in thoroughly researching the information presented, we may occasionally get some things wrong. We encourage a healthy and open dialogue so we can learn together. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at to address any concerns. 


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