Bhishma Panchak Vrat, also known as bheeshma panchakam, is a 5-day vow or observance dedicated to Bhishma. In 2016, Bhishma Panchak vrat starts on November 11 and ends on November 14.
Usually, it begins on Utthana Ekadasi or Prabhodini and ends on Kartik Purnima day. During these five festive days in Kartik month, devotees worship Lord Vishnu or Krishna and observe strict fast.
The legend and significance of Bhishma Panchakam are mentioned in Hari Bhakta Vilas, Padma Purana and Garuda Purana.
Bhishma Panchak Vrat 2016 dates
Dev Utthana Ekadashi or Hari Prabhodini Ekadasi – First day – November 11, 2016
Ksheerabdi Dwadashi or Chilku Dwadasi – Second day – November 12, 2016 – Chaturmas vrat ends
Kartika Shukla Trayodashi – Third day – November 12, 2016
Vaikunta Chaturdashi – Fourth day – November 13, 2016
Kartik Purnima – Fifth day – November 14, 2016 – Tripurari Purnima
Ksheerabdi Shayana vratam and Tulsi Damodar Vivah are also performed during Bhishma Panchaka vrata. On Utthana Ekadashi during Bhisma Panchak, devotees offer ‘Padma (lotus) to the Lord.
On Ksheerabdi Dwadasi, bilva patra are offered. Gandha or chandan (sandalwood paste) is offered on Kartik Trayodashi and on Vaikunta Chaturdasi day, java flowers are offered.
On the last day, Kartik Purnima day, Lord is offered malati flowers. These offerings are made to various parts of Lords idol.