People from all over the world, of various religions and beliefs, have observed a period of fasting in their life, for instance, Ramadan in Islam and Shravan in Hinduism. Besides, many Hindus observe fast all year round on specific days of the week, depending on their beliefs.
Significance of Fasting on Monday
People fast for Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Durga. To win the affection of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati (Durga) is said to have done Tapasya in the Himalayas.This fast is often kept by unmarried women with the same belief that they will find their dream husband.
In the morning, unmarried women visit Lord Shiva’s temple with offerings of flowers, honey, milk, ghee, incense, special leaves, Tulsi leaves and sugar.
Significance of Fasting on Tuesday
On Tuesdays, Hindus fast for ‘Durga Maa’ (also known as ‘Amba’) and ‘Lord Hanuman’. They visit temples and offer their prayers. Couples, who wish to have a son, also observe fast on Tuesdays.
It is believed that fasting on Tuesdays lessens the destructive effects associated with the planet Mars or Mangal Grah.
Significance of Fasting on Wednesday
Wednesday fast is dedicated to the planet Mercury or Budh and to Lord Vishnu. Mercury grants astuteness, good judgment, and wit. He also bestows success in education, harmonious relationships and success in artistic ventures.
Hindus also fast for ‘Bahuchara Mataji’. They visit the temples and read the Aarti.
Significance of Fasting on Thursday
Thursday fasts are dedicated to Maha Lakshmi (Lord Vishnu’s wife), Brihaspati Dev (Planet Jupiter), Gayatri Mata, and Sai Baba. Yellow is the most auspicious color for Thursday.
Many people fast on Thursday with a belief that they will be blessed with good health, success, wealth and prosperity. People chant mantras, read prayers and visit temples to complete their fast.
Significance of Fasting on Friday
People fast for Shakti (Mother Goddess) and Santoshi Ma, the incarnation of Shakti. The fast is kept in continuation for 16 Fridays. The Friday fast is observed to receive happiness and contentment in their families.
On the 17th Friday, women invite unmarried girls in an odd number, usually, under the age of sixteen to share food with them as well as giving gifts, so that their fasting is complete and bears fruit.
Significance of Fasting on Saturday
Hindus fast for Hanuman Ji and Shani Dev. However, Lord Shani is worshiped on Saturdays more widely. The color of Saturday is black. Black colored items are offered to Lord Shani, such as sesame oil, sesame til, black clothes, black grams are offered.
They pour oil all over the ‘murti’(statue) of Shani Dev. Shani is worshiped to stay free from the ill effects and troubles. Fasting on Saturdays is usually observed by men.
Significance of Fasting on Sunday
Sunday or Ravivar is the day dedicated to Sun God (Ravi), who is the only visible God. We can see, perceive and pray him. Considered as the ‘life-giver’, Surya is regarded as the witness (Saakshi) of all actions.
Hindus fast on Sundays to get cosmic energies from the Sun God. The Sun God is the indicator of our honor, fame, status, heart, eyes, respect, ego, general vitality, respect and power.