One of the small and grand festivals is the Sheetala Ashtami festival. Fair is also held at number of places in Rajasthan. The Sheetala Mata fair at a small hamlet Chaksu, Jaipur and Kaga, Jodhpur with great passion and zeal.
Sheetala Ashtami is celebrated during the spring season in the month of March after seven days of holi.
It is a common belief among all the people that worshipping Sheetla mata on Sheetla Ashtmi would prevent them from the deadly outbreak of diseases.
Sheetala Mata is commonly called the goddess of small pox. The huge excitement and gusto of celebration of the festival is worth watching.
The Sheetala Ashtami is best celebrated in the Chakshu region of Jaipur. Chakshu is like a small hamlet located near Jaipur. This festival is visited by a large number of people as it boasts a unique charm. It is usually celebrated during the spring season. It usually falls in the month of March and creates great deal of excitement among local people.
The festival is also associated with a number of religious beliefs. According to the belief, celebration of this festival would save the people from epidemics. In fact, by celebrating the festival, the local people pay respect to the goddess of small pox. The local people of Chakshu have a firm.
Devotees prepared food one day before of Sheetla Asthami & the day of asthami they visit to the temple in queue and performed puja of Sheetla Mata with their food. People gorge on this food which is called Baseda in local lingo as a Prasad of Sheetla mata. All the eatables which are of cool in nature are offered to the diety. Some consider Bajra, Rabri and curd as an essential offering. A Separate temporary mandap is made for this day and a red stone representing the idol of Sheetala mata is kept there, for worship by devotees.