Know all about the 2023 Hindu Vrat Calendar

The Hindu calendar is based on the moon's movement around the earth, whereas the Gregorian calendar is based on the earth's rotation as it revolves around the sun. Each of the 12 months in the Gregorian calendar has 30 or 31 days, however, the Hindu calendar's months only have 28 days. The LifeGuru app contains a schedule of Hindu holidays for India in 2023. All Hindu holidays, fasting days, and traditions are listed on this calendar.

In a symbolic sense, fasting is an act of sacrifice in which one gives up food and comfort to give God a sign of love and submission. Fasting calms the senses suppresses passion, and purifies the intellect. For many Hindus, fasting is also a form of penance because it gives one a chance to atone for sins.

Your Complete Guide to Fasting in 2023

Importance of Fasting in Hinduism

Fasting, or "Upavasa" as it is called in Sanskrit, has historically been revered in Hinduism. Fasting, which has been practiced for millennia and is based on ancient scriptures, is regarded as a way to purify the soul, show devotion, and evoke divine favors.

Fasting acts as a link between the physical and the spiritual, and is frequently timed to coincide with holidays, lunar cycles, and specific days for deity worship like Ekadashi. Hindus think they are using their body energy to concentrate on prayer, meditation, and reflection by refraining from eating or eating in moderation.

It emphasizes the idea that people are more than simply their physical selves and possess a strong, inherently spiritual core as a witness to the discipline of the body and the elevation of the spirit.

Benefits of Fasting for the Body

When we consider how fasting affects our bodies physiologically, science and conventional wisdom converge. Fasting helps with detoxification and cellular healing by giving our digestive systems a break. The procedure triggers autophagy, a mechanism by which the body eliminates damaged cells and promotes cellular renewal.

Additionally, fasting enhances metabolic processes, assists in weight control, and may even enhance brain activity, resulting in increased clarity and focus. Additionally, it controls blood sugar levels, improves heart health, and may lengthen life. In essence, fasting sometimes acts as the body's "reset button," allowing it to repair, re-calibrate, and return to its ideal state.

How to fast (along with types of fast)

Hinduism has a wide variety of fasting practices that might vary in rigor according to one's personal beliefs, local traditions, and particular events. Here are a few typical examples:

  • Complete Vrat/Fast: Complete fasting is giving up all food and liquids for a full day, or even longer.
  • Partial Vrat/Fast: Consuming particular items like fruits, nuts, and dairy products while avoiding grains and some vegetables is known as a partial fast.
  • Fluid Vrat/Fast: Fluid fast involves avoiding solid foods and only consuming liquids such as milk, water, or fruit juices.
  • Ekadashi Vrat/Fast: A twice-monthly fast in which followers of Lord Vishnu refrain from eating grains and beans.
  • Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat/Fast: A more stringent kind of Ekadashi that forbids both food and liquids.
  • Importance of Kathas during fasting

    One can be set free from all forms of material slavery and guided to emancipation with the help of Katha. Sometimes Vrat Katha-related short stories are performed in homes as part of kathas. The moral lessons of the didactic Satyanarayan and Ramayana kathas are instilled through showing how human behavior (karma) has consequences.

    Major Fasts and Festivals in 2023


    Navratri is a nine-night Hindu festival that celebrates the divine feminine and is dedicated to the goddess Durga in her various forms.

    Why should you fast during Navratri?

    Fasting during Navratri is a way to purify the body, mind, and soul. It's believed to bring devotees closer to the divine and eradicate negative energies. It's also a practice of self-discipline and devotion.

    Kinds of fast you can keep during Navratri:

  • Nirjala Fast: Complete abstention from food and water.
  • Phalahar Fast: Consuming fruits, nuts, and dairy products, excluding grains, salt, and certain vegetables.
  • Partial Fast: One meal a day, usually dinner, with specific Navratri-approved ingredients.
  • Do’s and Don'ts during Navratri fasting:


  • Stay hydrated with water, coconut water, or milk.
  • Consume light meals to avoid overburdening the digestive system.
  • Engage in prayer, meditation, and spiritual practices.
  • Dont's

  • Avoid fried or overly spicy foods.
  • Don't overexert or engage in strenuous activities.
  • Avoid negative thoughts and actions.
  • Ekadashi

    Ekadashi is the eleventh lunar day (Tithi) of each of the two lunar phases which occur in a Hindu calendar month – the waxing phase (Shukla Paksha) and the waning phase (Krishna Paksha).

    Importance of fasting on Ekadashi:

    Fasting on Ekadashi is believed to cleanse sins and help in attaining Moksha (liberation). It's said that observing this fast purifies the soul and brings one closer to Vishnu, a principal deity in Hinduism.

    Things to Keep in Mind while fasting during Ekadashi:

  • Consume light foods like fruits, nuts, and dairy the day before fasting.
  • Many avoid grains and beans as they're believed to be contaminated.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Engage in prayer, chanting, and meditation to elevate the spiritual experience.
  • Avoid excessive physical exertion and take ample rest.
  • Pradosh

    Why should you do this?

    Pradosh Vrat, or Pradosham, is observed to seek blessings from Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Devotees believe that fasting on this day purifies the mind and soul, helps in attaining moksha, and brings fulfillment of desires.

    Do’s and Don'ts during Pradosh fasting:Do’s:
  • Engage in prayers and meditation.
  • Visit Shiva temples in the evening during the 'Pradosh Kaal.'
  • Light a lamp with sesame oil.
  • Offer Bilva leaves and milk to the Shiva Lingam.

  • Don’ts:
  • Avoid consumption of non-vegetarian food and alcohol.
  • Refrain from negative thoughts and actions.
  • Avoid the consumption of rice and wheat.
  • Krishna Janmashtami

    Why do people fast on Krishna Janmashtami: Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Devotees fast as a sign of devotion, to cleanse the soul, and to seek blessings for good health, happiness, and spiritual growth.

    What to eat during Janmashtami fasting:
  • Kuttu (buckwheat) preparations like kuttu puri or kuttu pakoras.
  • Sabudana (tapioca pearls) dishes such as sabudana khichdi or sabudana vada.
  • Fruits and milk-based sweets.
  • Non-cereal food items like potato curry.
  • Karva Chauth

    Importance of Karva Chauth for Hindus: Karva Chauth is a significant festival for married Hindu women, primarily in North India. Women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the well-being, longevity, and prosperity of their husbands. It symbolizes their love, devotion, and prayers for their husband's long life.

    What to eat during Karva Chauth:
  • Pre-fast meal (Sargi): Eaten before sunrise, it includes fruits, nuts, milk-based sweets, and a meal with roti, potato curry, and other dishes.
  • Breaking the fast: After sighting the moon, women break their fast with fresh water, fruits, and a full meal that includes roti, rice, dal, and vegetable curries.

  • List of all Hindu Vrats and Fasting

    September Vrats
  • Parsva Ekadashi (Sep 27): Parsva Ekadashi is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the moon) in the month of Bhadrapada. It is believed that observing this fast removes sins and bestows spiritual merit.
  • Navratri / Durga Puja (Sep 30 - Oct 08): Navratri is a nine-night festival celebrating the divine feminine, primarily Goddess Durga. Devotees observe fasts, engage in prayers, and perform dances known as Garba and Dandiya.

  • October Vrats
  • Vijaya Ekadashi (Oct 26): This Ekadashi is observed during the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon) in the month of Phalguna. Devotees observe a day-long fast, believing it to grant victory in challenges.
  • Sharad Purnima / Kojagiri Purnima (Oct 28): Sharad Purnima marks the end of the monsoon season and is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month of Ashwin. It's believed that the moonlight on this day has healing properties. Kojagiri Purnima involves night-long vigils and the consumption of flavored milk under moonlight.

  • November Vrats
  • Rama Ekadashi (Nov 24): Observed during the Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartika, this Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Fasting on this day is believed to obliterate past sins.
  • Tulsi Vivah (Nov 24): This day marks the ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi plant (holy basil) to Lord Vishnu or Krishna. It symbolizes the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the wedding season in India.

  • December Vrats
  • Mokshada Ekadashi (Dec 22): Observed during the Shukla Paksha in the month of Margashirsha, it's believed that observing a fast on this day can grant moksha (salvation) and free one from the cycle of birth and death.
  • Geeta Jayanti (Dec 24): This day celebrates the birth of the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus. It's believed that on this day, Lord Krishna imparted the essence of life and dharma to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

  • Explore more with LifeGuru

    Vrats (fasting rituals) are significant spiritual activities that are associated with particular dates and festivals in the Hindu calendar. These vrats allow believers to express their devotion to the gods while also purifying their bodies and minds varying. Vrats have varying rules, from complete fasting to limited food consumption. You can connect with an astrologer on the LifeGuru platform to get more clarification about specific Vrats in depth and how they can affect your spiritual journey.