Dhanurmasa Vratam is observed throughout the Dhanurmasam (From Dhanu Sankramana till the Makara Sankranti) by many devotees. In 2016-2017, Dhanurmasam begins on 16 December 2016 and ends on 13 January 2017.
The importance or the significance of Dhanurmasa Vratam is mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana, Matsya Purana, Sri Bhagavatham and Narayana Samhita as a conversation between Lord Brahma and Sage Narada.
For this puja, the idol or the deity of Lord Vishnu is installed in the Puja room or pooja place. Daily, before the sunrise Lord Vishnu is offered with Shodashopachar Puja. Abhishekam with Panchamrita, Tulsi leaves, and different types of flowers are performed.
First Paksha days (15 days – fortnight), ‘Uppu Pongali’ (Salt Pongali) is offered as Naivedyam and in second Paksha Dadhyodanam (Curd rice) is offered to Vishnumurthi. Dakshina and Tambulam are also offered to the Lord.
Tulasi Pooja is performed after Vishnu Pooja.
Vishnu Sahasrana Nama Parayana, reading the stories of Lord Vishnu, visiting temples, etc are the most preferred deeds during Dhanurmasam for those who observe this vratam.
Those who are not able to observe Dhanurmasa Vratham for the entire month can perform it for 15 days or eight days or 6 days or four days or at least a single day.
After the completion of vratham, the idol of the Vishnu is donated to a Brahmin along with some Dakshina and Tambulam.