People observe fasts or vrats on special occasions to pay obeisance and worship the deity. According to the Hindu Panchang, which is also a Vedic calendar, March 26, Friday will mark the Dwadashi Tithi up to 08:21 am of Shukla Paksha of Phalguna month, after which Trayodashi Tithi began and will remain up to 06:11 am on March 27. Every year, Pradosh Vrat is held on the Trayodashi Tithi and devotees keep fast for Lord Shiva on this day to get blessings and wishes fulfilled.
One can also note that this Pradosh Vrat falls a few days before the Holika Dahan and Holi celebration. Every month, two Pradosha Vrats are observe — the first on Trayodashi of Krishna Paksha and the second on Trayodashi of Shukla Paksha. Also, Pradosh Vrat is given different names depending on the day of the week it falls. March 26 vrat is called Shukra Pradosh Vrat as it falls on Friday.
Muhurat, significance and other details:
Puja Muhurat: The Pradosh Vrat Puja should be performed between 06:35 pm and 8:55 pm.
Significance of the day:
It is believed that on this day, Lord Shiva and his mount, Nandi (the bull), protected and saved the Devas from the Asuras and hence got rid of the demons who caused massive destruction. It was on Trayodashi Tithi during Pradosh Kaal when the Devas asked help from Lord Shiva to save the universe.
Steps to perform puja:
1. Devotees need to worship Lord Shiva after taking bath in the morning.
2. Devotees should then chant the Shivaya Mantra and listen or read the story of Pradosh Vrat.
3. Offer Lord Shiva his favourite things like belpatra, cow’s milk, sandalwood, akshat, gulal, dhatura, etc.
4. Devotees can now perform aarti with incense and lamp.
5. Devotees can also perform the aarti in the evening.