Paitha Mahakruchcha Vratam is a five day ritual observed in the karthika krishna paksha in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu. In 2012, Paitha Mahakruchcha Vratham are: It begins on December 5 and ends on December 9.
This vrata starts on Karthika Krishna saptami and ends on the Karthika Krishna Ekadashi.
During Paitha Mahakruchcha Vrata, Lord Vishnu is worshipped for five days by fasting and on the fifth day, ie the day of Uttuvana Ekadasi the fast is broken and on the next day usually the tulsi vivah is conducted with Lord Vishnu in some places. People observe fast during all the five days of the vrata. However, it’s not a complete fast as prescribed and certain foods are allowed to be taken on certain days.
During Paitha Mahakruchcha Vratha, according to tradition, these foods are allowed to be taken on the particular days. On the first day of the vrata, ie the karthika krishna saptami, water is the food for the day. On the second day of the vrata, ie the karthika krishna asthami, milk is the food. On the third day of the vrata, ie the karthik krishna navami, curd is the food, On the fourth day of the vrata, ie the karthik krishna dashami, ghee is the food and on the final day, ie the karthik krishna ekadasi, fast is broken after performing the Vishnu Puja.