It is celebrated on the sixth day of the Skanda Sashti, the most important of festivals dedicated to god Murugan or Skanda. As the story goes, the gods were once tested by the misdoings of the demon Soorapadman (or Padmasura) that they asked Murugan for help. An epic battle ensued for six days between deity and demon. On the last day, Murugan’s vel or sacred javelin managed to bisect the demon. Out of one half sprang a peacock, who to this day is Murugan’s vehicle. The other half became a rooster the symbol on the god’s banner.
In remembrance, Hindus sing the praises of Skanda and on the sixth day Sooranpor is enacted. Regular chanting, it is believed, will ensure that all dilemmas facing worshippers will be resolved. Chanting the song 36 times a day is supposed to bring wealth. Special poojas are conducted while statues of Murugan are ritually anointed.
This year, Skanda Sashti begins on October 31 and will culminate with Sooranpor on November 5.