By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Devayatrotsava, DevayAtrotsava, Devayaatrotsava
Devayātrotsava literally means ‘temple festivals of gods’.
Ever since the elaborate rituals to consecrated images in temples became an established tradition, each temple also started having its own special celebrations. Such celebrations are called ‘yātrā’ or ‘utsava’ or ‘yātrotsava’.There are some general rules guiding such festivals, especially regarding the auspicious days on which they should be done. The following table gives an idea of the same:
|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|
Of course, local customs can differ and other days may be chosen for the temple festivals.