Fasting is the most important ritual of the day. On Shasti, devotees keep a partial or full fasting to appease Lord Murugan. The viratham begins at the time of sunrise and comes to an end on the following day after offering prayers to the Sun God. Those who keep strict viratham do not eat food for complete 24 hours of fasting. Partial fasting can be done by eating fruits. People who have health problems can even keep Shasti fasting by eating s single meal during the day.
The observer of the Shasti viratham is restricted from eating certain spices on the day. Eating non-vegetarian food and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited.On Shasti, Murugan devotees also read ‘Skanda Purana’ and recite the ‘Skanda Shasti Kavacham’. On this day it is considered very auspicious to visit the temples of Lord Murugan in the evening.
Shasti is the day of worshipping Lord Murugan. He is the Hindu God of War who is known by different names like ‘Kartikeya’, ‘Subramaniya’, ‘Skanda’, ‘Kumara Swami’ and ‘Kumaran’. Lord Murugan is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati and is the Commander-in-Chief of the Deva’s army. Lord Murugan is primarily worshipped in area with Tamil population. The six important shrines of Lord Murugan are located in Tamil Nadu itself.