Shitla Ashtami is a Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity, goddess Shitala. This year, it will be observed on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra (usually in March or April) and is particularly popular in northern and eastern India. The festival is celebrated for eight consecutive days and is considered to be an important festival in Hinduism. On this day, devotees fast and offer prayers and offerings to the goddess, seeking her blessings and protection from smallpox and other illnesses. A procession of the deity is also taken out on the streets and offerings are made to her in the form of food, flowers and other items. The festival culminates on the eighth day with a grand celebration, where devotees participate in singing and dancing, and offerings are made to the goddess.