Sankashti Vrat and Puja is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is observed on the fourth day after Purnima or full moon. Sankashti fasting is from morning to the sighting of the moon. Sankashti Puja is performed in the evening. Observing Sankashta Chaturthi is believed to help in removing all difficulties and obstacles in life.
For most people Sankashti Chaturti is a complete fast which is broken after sighting the moon and performing puja. There are also people who observe partial fast.
Sankashti Chaturti Morning
After early morning bath, prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha in the usual way by lighting a lamp or Aarti. Anyone of the prayers dedicated to Lord Ganesh is chanted. The fasting begins after puja.
Food that can be eaten by those observing Partial Fasting
Those people observing partial fast can eat Sabudana Khichadi or fruits or curd rice
Sankashti Chaturthi Evening Puja
The puja is usually performed after sighting the moon. If moon is not sighted, the puja is performed as per the moonrise time given in the Panchang or calendar.
After sighting the moon, an idol or painting or photo of Lord Ganesh is decorated using flowers and Durva grass.
A lamp is lit.
A coconut, banana and flowers are offered to Lord Ganesh.
Usually a Prasad (Modak or any other sweet) is prepared and offered.
Aarati is performed. Other usual puja procedures like chanting mantras, lighting incense or agarbatis are done.
After the Puja the Prasad is distributed.
Some people opt for a more elaborate Shodashopchar puja – 16 steps.
Sankashti Chaturthi Evening Puja to Moon
Special pujas are offered to Chandra or moon god
The puja involves sprinkling water, sandalwood paste, flowers and consecrated rice in the direction of the moon.
Mantras Chanted During Sankashti Vrat Day
- Sankashtnashana sthothra
- Ganesha Ashtothara
- Vakrathunda mahakaya or any of the popular mantras dedicated to Lord Ganesh is chanted.
Note - If moon is not visible you end the fast by looking the moonrise time in your calendar.