Ekadasi is the eleventh day of a lunar fortnight in a traditional Hindu lunar calendar. Ekadashi day is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and many devotees undertake Upvaas or fasting on the day. There are two Ekadashis in a lunar month. The date (s) of Ekadashi in September 2010 – September 4 and 5 and September 18 and 19.
The Ekadasi fasting on September 5 is known as Aja Ekadasi or Ananda Ekadashi, the smarta ekadasi is on September 4
The Ekadasi on September 18 is known as Parivartini Ekadasi, the smarta ekdasi is on September 18 and Bhagavat Vaishnava Ekadas is on September 19.
The preparation for Ekadashi fasting begins on the Dasami day – the day before Ekadasi. On the Ekadasi day, devotees observe complete fast. The day is meant for hearing religious discourses and performing pujas.
There are also devotees who do not observe total fast. They avoid grains especially rice and consume fruits, nuts and milk.
The fasting comes to an end on the Dwadashi day with the consuming of food cooked in one’s house.