India is a vast country boasting of a rich cultural diversity. People from different religions and castes reside in this exceptionally vast multiethnic country. Apart from the various religions followed in India, Hinduism is one such major religion practiced here. This vast faith is synonymous with several rituals and customs followed by the Hindus. The Hindu culture is recognized by festivals, fasts and feasts. Fasting, in particular, is an integral part of the Hindu religion. Different fasts, also known as vrats, are observed by people across the country on the basis of personal beliefs and local customs. These fasts vary largely depending upon the cultures, castes and creeds followed in different states, cities and villages of India.
The Hindus observe weekly fasts that are performed on each day of the week. Apart from the week day vrats, there are several other types of vrats that encompass a Hindu deity’s life. Interestingly, most of the vrats observed find a mention in the Sanskrit literature, either in one part or the other in the Indian peninsula and also in Nepal as well. The Hindu scriptures not only state the significance of practicing these fasts, but also state the entire process to carry out the rites in order to preserve the sanctity of the ritual system. This section deals with the different vrats or fasts observed by the Hindu community and also the stories associated with each vrat. Check them out!