In Hinduism, each day of a week is dedicated to a particular god in the
Hindu pantheon. Apart from the special Vratas and Upvaas, many Hindus
also fast on a particular day in a week. Each day in a week has a
specialty and there are numerous folklores associated with the fasting
observed on the days of a week.
Sunday is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun God). Those who undertake fast
(upvaas) on the day only take a single meal. Oil and salt is avoided.
Red is the color of the day and red flowers are offered to Surya
Ravivar, or Sunday, is dedicated to Lord Surya or Suryanarayana. Upvaas
or fasting on the day is dedicated to the Sun God. Red is the color of
Those people who undertake fast on the day only eat food once that too
before sunset. Salt, oil and fried food items are avoided.
Red color flowers are offered while praying. Red color sandalwood paste is applied as tilak on forehead.
Extra care is given on cleanliness of the body and surrounding.
It is believed that Ravivar Vrat will help in fulfilling desires. People with skin diseases observe the Vrat to get relief.
Many devotees also give alms on the day.
Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva is easily pleased. Therefore many people observe Upvaas on Monday. Those devotees observing fast only eat food once. People visit Lord Shiva shrines and conduct pujas, especially, Ardhanarishwara puja. The mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is chanted continuously. Siva devotees also read Shiva Purana. Unmarried women observe the Vrat to get good husbands. Others observe it for a happy and prosperous family life.
Monday Fasting Dedicated to Hindu God Shiva
Upvaas, or fasting, in Hinduism is mainly observed for the fulfillment of a vow. Upvas is also referred as 'Vrats.' But 'Vrat' has a wider meaning and it is not just curtailed to the fasting observed for material or other gains. Each day in a week is dedicated to one or more of the gods in the Hindu pantheon. A particular deity is appeased by the devotee on a particular day. Thus Monday is usually dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Upvass, or fasting, on Mondays begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. On the day, food is only eaten after evening prayer. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped on the day. Of course, no worship begins without remembering Lord Ganesha. The fasting on Mondays in the Shravan month is considered even more auspicious.
It is believed that those people who observe Upvaas on Monday will have their desires fulfilled and will be blessed with wisdom. In some areas, fasting on Mondays is observed by unmarried women to get an ideal husband.
The reason for fasting on a day is usually traced back to a particular incident in one of the Hindu Puranas or folk tradition. There are numerous
myths associated with a particular fast. The stories vary from region to region and from community to community.
Somvar Vrat, or Monday fasting, dedicated to Lord Shiva too has numerous stories. Among the several myths, three have gained popularity – the first is the story of a poor Brahmin gaining wealth due to Monday fasting, second is the story of a rich merchant begetting a son after long wait and the subsequent death of the son and his rebirth due to the grace of Lord Shiva and Parvati and the third story is the most famous involving the game of dice played between Shiva and Parvati.
Any Upvaas or Vrat is directly or indirectly connected with some sort of material comfort. This is a sweet lure used by ancient saints to attract a devotee to the concept of Brahman.
The concept of Brahman in Sanatana Dharma is not easily digestible to many people. And they are least bothered about Brahman concept all they need is material comfort. For this many devotees are ready to go to any extend. They are ready to observe any harsh vow. Ancient wise men used this tendency among the common people to spread the awareness of Brahman. During each upvas there are occasional flashes when a person thinks beyond material comforts. This is a realization of Brahman. Gradually many devotees begin to think beyond material comforts.
How to do or observe Somavar Vrat? – Monday Fasting Procedure for Lord Shiva
Somavar Vrat, or Monday Fasting, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Somavar takes its name from Soma or Chandra – the Hindu moon god. Fasting on the day is done by many to appease Lord Shiva and get prayers and wishes
fulfilled. It is believed that observing Somavar Vrat will help in getting good husbands. It is also believed to help in attaining prosperity and peaceful family life.
Somavar Vrat begins from sunrise on Monday. Usually those devotees observing the Vrat visit a Lord Shiva temple in the morning and in the evening. If this is not possible prayers are offered at home.
White color dress is worn by those observing the fast. White flowers are also offered to the Shivling.
A single meal is taken on the day after midday. Those observing partial fast take fruits or Sabudana Khichadi.
In the evening a story related to Somavar Vrat is listened to or read by those observing the fast.
Apart from white flowers, people also offer Bilva leaves or Bil patra while doing the puja.
The mantra that is chanted is Om Namah Shivaya…The fast ends on the next day morning after usual prayers and rituals.
When Amavasi, or no moon day, falls on Monday it is considered highly auspicious and the day is known as Somavati Amavas.
Mondays in Shravan month (July – August) in North India, Gujarat and Maharashtra is considered highly auspicious. Special pujas are offered to Lord Shiva on Mondays in temples and homes.
Mondays are auspicious in Kartik month (October – November) in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Mondays in Karthigai Masam (November – December is also auspicious in Tamil Nadu.
Tuesday is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Durga, Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman. Most devotees visit Devi and Hanuman shrines. Those people who fast avoid taking food containing salt at night.
Tuesday Dedicated to Hindu God Lord Hanuman
In Hinduism, each day in a week is dedicated to a particular deity in the Hindu pantheon. Tuesday or Mangalvar is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Upvaas (fasting) on the day is dedicated to Hanuman and Mangal or Mars. Mangalwar, Tuesday, takes its name from the god Mangal or Mars who rules the day and is considered to be a trouble maker, and the fast is to ward off the harmful effects. Red is the preferred color on the day.
It must be noted here that the Hanuman might not be worshipped on Tuesday in all regions. Some communities might be worshipping some other deity. For example, in South India the day is dedicated to Skanda or Muruga or Kartikeya (Kartik). But generally Tuesday is dedicated to Hanuman.
Mangalvar Vrat is observed by those couples who wish to have a son. Other benefits include happiness in the family. People who believe in astrology observe fast to alleviate the harmful effects associated with the planet mangal or mars.
Those who undertake the fast on Tuesdays only take a single meal. It is a whole day fast. The single meal on the day is usually any food made of wheat and jaggery. Most people observe the fast for 21 Tuesdays without a break.
People wear red colored clothes on the day and offer red flowers to Lord Hanuman.
It is believed that Lord Hanuman will help his devotees in overcoming difficulties in life especially those that arises from the activities of Mangal graha.
Wednesday is dedicated to planet Mercury and Lord Vithal, an incarnation of Krishna. Green color leaves, especially Tulsi leaves, are used in Pujas. The day is highly auspicious for starting new ventures and it is believed that those who observe the Vrat are bound to get blessed with fortunes. People also give alms on the day.
Wednesday Hindu fasting dedicated to Krishna and Mercury
Budhvar, Wednesday, is dedicated to Lord Krishna and the planet Budh or Mercury. The day is also associated with Lord Vithal, an incarnation of Krishna. In some regions, Lord Vishnu is worshiped. Keeping a fast (Upvaas) on Budhvar is believed to help in leading a peaceful family life.
Those devotees who undertake a fast on the day only take a single meal in the afternoon. The fasting is observed mainly by husband and wife together. Green color is considered highly auspicious on the day.
In Astrology, mercury is considered to be compassionate and generous. Mercury is usually depicted riding a lion.
In some regions, people start new ventures on Wednesday as Mercury or Budh is considered to help new business ventures. Educational activities begin on Wednesday in some places.
Wednesday, is generally dedicated to the planet Budha or Mercury, Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.
Those people who believe in Astrology propitiate Mercury as He is compassionate and generous and helps in worldly pursuits and blesses with wisdom. In some regions, Lord Shiva is worshipped on the day. Lord Ganesha is also worshipped in many regions on Wednesday. The day is also of great significance to Lord Vithal (Krishna) in Maharashtra. It is believed that worship and fasting on the day promotes peace and happiness in life and helps in a happy married life.
Those people who observe Budhavar Vrat propitiate Budha or Mercury. Budha is believed to have a sharp intellect and is proficient in all sciences. He is worshipped for good intelligence, education, success in business and commerce. Budhwar Vrat is observed for 24 hours and those undertaking the fast on the day eat a single meal in the afternoon. Couples undertake the fast together for a happy married life.
Green is the color of the day. People wear green colored dress. The offering made to Budha usually includes green colored grams like Moong Dal. On the day, devotees listen to the Budhvar vrat katha before performing the evening puja.
The Prasad that is made on the day is using green colored dal or grain. Black and red color flowers are offered to him. In regions people offer ghee and curd. The fruit offered is grape. In some regions, people start new ventures on Wednesday as Mercury or Budh is considered to help new business ventures. Educational activities begin on Wednesday in some places.
Lord Krishna, Lord Vithal, Lord Shiva, and Lord Ganesh are worshipped on Wednesday in different regions. But fasting is mainly dedicated to Budh Grah and is usually performed for astrological reasons or to improve relationships.
Thursday is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations. Pujas are conducted using milk, ghee etc. Food is only eaten once and that too containing milk products. People read Srimad Bhagavad Purana on the day
Thursday Dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu and Brihaspati
In Hinduism, each day in a week is dedicated to a particular god in the Hindu pantheon. Thursday, which is Brihaspatiwar or Vrihaspativar, is dedicated to Vishnu and Brihaspati, the Guru of Devas. Thurdsay is also popularly known as Gurubar or Guruvar. Yellow is the color of the day. A fast is observed on the day and food is consumed only once. In some areas, people make it a point to visit Hanuman Temple on Thursdays.
There are numerous stories associated with the reason for observing Upvaas, or fast, on Brihaspativar. Many of the stories are part of local folklore and stories vary from region to region. Almost all stories suggest that those who perform pujas and Vrats on Thursdays will be blessed with wealth and happy life. In some stories, Lord Vishnu appears in the guise of a Sadhu to test the devotees on Thursdays. In other stories, it is Brihaspati. First the person in the story denies alms and is lethargic but later realizes his/her mistake and observes Thursday Vrat and pleases the Gods.
Those devotees fasting on the day wears yellow colored dress and offers yellow colored fruits and flowers to Vishnu and Brihaspati. Food is only consumed once and includes Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) and ghee. Basically, yellow colored food is eaten on the day. In some regions, banana or plantain is worshipped and watered.
Friday is dedicated to Mother Goddess – Mahalakshmi, Santhosi Ma, Annapuraneshwari and Durga. Sweets are distributed on the day. Those devotees observing the Vrat make it a point to eat at night.
Friday Dedicated to Santhoshi Ma and Shukra or Venus
In Hindu religion, each day of a week is dedicated to a particular God or Goddesses. Friday or Shukrawar is dedicated to Shakti – the Mother Goddess in Hinduism – and Shukra or Venus. One of the most important Vrat or Upvaas (fast) on the day is dedicated to Santhoshi Matha (an incarnation of Shakti). The fasting is also known as ‘Solah Shukravar Vrats because a devotee fasts for 16 consecutive Fridays. White color is given importance on Friday.
Another deity that is propitiated on the day is Shukra, who is known to provide joy and material wealth. The period of Shukra in one’s astrological chart is considered to be most productive and luckily period.
Worship of Shakti – Durga, Kali and other forms – on Friday is considered highly auspicious. Shakti temples in India attract large number of devotees on this day. Devotees wear white colored dress on this day. The fasting on Shukravar begins at sunrise and ends with sunset. The person fasting only partakes in the evening meal. White colored food like kheer or milk is the most preferred.
Fast is kept for various reasons which include removal of obstacles, for a child, happy family life etc.
There are numerous stories associated with Shukravar. In almost all the stories, Lord Shukra or Venus is dishonored in the beginning and the devotee later realizes his/her folly through numerous untoward incidents. Then the devotee realizes the mistake and propitiates Shukra and is finally rewarded.
Saturday is dedicated to alleviating the bad influence of Lord Shani. The Vrat on this day is mainly observed by those people who believe in Hindu astrology. Black is the color of the day and people visit Shani shrine or Navagraha shrines. Food is only consumed once on the day.
Saturday Fasting Dedicated To Hindu God Shani and Hanuman
Talk about Shani or Sani to a Hindu and the first reaction will be fear and then the mentioning of ill effects and troubles. Shani is dreaded by Hindus, especially by those who believe in astrology. Many people observe an Upvaas or fast to avoid the adversities and misfortunes on Shanivar or Saturday. It is believed that those who have the blessing of Lord Hanuman are protected from the wrath of Shani. Therefore many people make it a point to worship Hanuman at home or in temples. Black is the preferred color on Saturday.
Shani, one of the Navagrahas, is worshipped in numerous temples and there are also temples exclusively dedicated to Sani. Devotees who are observing Shanivar Vrat usually visit Shani shrines. Black colored items like sesame til, sesame oil, black clothes, and black gram whole are offered to Shani. It must be noted here that the color of the idol of Shani is always black in color.
Those devotees who fast on Saturday only take a single meal that too in the evening after prayers. Food prepared usually consists of sesame til or black gram or any other black colored food item. Salt is avoided by many on the day.
Shani is represented as a deity carrying bow and arrows and riding a vulture. Some devotees worship a black iron idol of Sani. Some worship the Peepal Tree and tie thread around its bark. Black colored items like sesame oil and black clothes are also donated on the day.
Shani is so dreaded that many Hindus avoid journeys on Saturday. There are also numerous tales regarding the evil effects of Shani.
But generally it is believed that Lord Hanuman devotees are unharmed by Sani. Legend has it that Lord Hanuman had rescued Shani from Ravana. This happened during the burning of the Lanka episode in the epic Ramayana. Lord Shani had then promised that he would not trouble Lord Hanuman devotees.
It must be noted here that the deity worshipped on a particular day might vary from region to region and community to community. The result of all upvaas or fast depends on the person. It is good, if all the members in the family can undertake a Vrata together.
Miracles do happen by observing a particular Vrata and the greatest miracle is Brahman realization. All rituals and observances are path towards understanding the Supreme Soul and this will automatically alleviate all sufferings.