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Puratassi Fasting - Puratasi Vratam

Puratassi Fasting, or Puratasi Vratam, is observed in the Tamil month of Puratasi (September – October). In 2024, Puratasi month begins on September 17 and ends on October 17. Puratasi Masam is of great importance to Tamilians as it is believed that Lord Venkateswara (Balaji) appeared on the earth in this month. Purattasi Saturdays are dedicated to Lord Shani or Shani dev. Some people observe partial fasting on all days in Puratasi others limit it to Purattasi Saturdays.

Some devotees of Lord Venkateswara opt for strict fast on Purattasi Saturdays which involves not even drinking a drop of water - Nirjala Vratam.

Some devotees only eat vegetarian food during the entire month. They also quit smoking and consuming alcohol for one month.

On Saturdays, Naamum, the two feet symbol of Lord Vishnu’s feet, is drawn on the forehead by males and women opt for a red dot.

Hymns dedicated to Lord Balaji are chanted on Saturdays.

Devotees offer Ghee or Ellu Lamp to Lord Shani in the month. Navagrahas are also worshipped in the month. The popular belief is that Lord Shani loses his powers in the month and therefore he can be easily pleased.