Most Hindu festivals are pinned to a Lunar day or Tithi like Rama-navami, hera-pancami etc. The 7-day week runs out-of-sync with the lunar tithis; it would be very confusing to try to follow both at the same time.

Yet many astrological sites also assign deities and planets to the 7-day week days. Is it just a recent western superimposition? Or are there any references to vasara or weekdays in the scriptures?


The Hindu equivalent for the modern weekday is called as vāsara or vāra in the modern usage. Ravi-Vāsara, Som-Vāsara, Mangal-Vāsara etc, which are equivalent of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday do bear a striking resemblance etymologically.

Although Vāsaras do not serve any computational purpose, unlike Tithis, which are used to determine a day in the lunar calendar, they still do form one of the five angas of the Hindu Panchanga, the other four being tithi, nakshatra, yoga and karna. They are also mentioned in the Vedanga Jyotisha which is considered to be the origin of Hindu Astrology.

As for what could be the origin of this system, the answer is the Navagrahas: Surya(Ravi, Sun),Som(Moon),Mangal(Mars), Budha(Mercura), Guru(Jupiter), Shukra(Venus), Shani(Saturn), Rahu and Ketu.

The first seven preside over individual Vāsaras while Rahu and Ketu are responsible for the Solar and Lunar eclipses. All these nine Grahas are said to move with respect to the fixed constellations in the zodiac, hence influencing the lives of the people affected by the respective constellations. It is not very unlike the western belief in astrology where different deities were said to preside over the opening hours of the days named after them.

So it is not just a westernised version of our own system. Tithis and Vāsaras exist independently of each other and fulfill different requirements. Tithis have more significance in the field of Astronomy for maintaining calendars and predicting celestial events like eclipses, Vāsaras have Astrological significance, helping determine the effect of the current arrangement of stars on the life of an individual.

But as with everything else in Hinduism, Astronomy and Astrology are closely related and these two are easily mixed up with one another. It is better to keep track of tithis for the purposes of a calendar of events.

  • Are the seven vāsaras repeating in a steady circle or are the eclipse days inserted in between them? In the West, weekend is very prominent as being day-off. What is the effect of vāsaras on human society, if any?
    – MKaama
    Jun 30 '14 at 21:59
  • As far as I know, Rahu and Ketu take up Tuesdays and Saturdays respectively, and are not assigned separate days. Vasaras dont affect the society in general. Their affect is related to the relative position of the presiding Graha to the static stars in the Zodiac. As every individual is born with a different configuration of the Zodiac, their effect differ from individual to individual. However there are some general characteristics associated with each Graha, like Shukra is known to bring prosperity and Rahu and Ketu are harbingers of bad time.
    – Pawan
    Jul 1 '14 at 21:23
  • 2
    If tithis are dependent on lunar movement and days on earth movement (i.e. 24 hrs) how can we state that vasaras = days because in english/roman system a day consists of 24 hrs and starts at 00:00 and in Hindu system it starts with sunrise . It this is true then if tmw is Saturday it be commenced from midnight but for hindu system it would be sunrise , so how is this sync even possible. Consider vratas and upwas we say it commences from 00:00 as per roman system and follow that, but really it should commence at the time of sunrise.
    – Yogi
    May 29 '15 at 4:24
  • Also consider that friday is commenced at 5:40 in morning (for summers) and ends at say 04:00 (sat for roman system) now for winters same time would be different like the same friday will start at 6:40 in morning and ends at 5:00 (sat morning for roman system). If you have to do some kinda graha shanti puja and there is only one day sat and one muhurtha 5:45 in morning how will it be possible in winters?? because sat begins at 6:30 am , would you consider doing it according to roman system? See this for more info on prahara en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prahar
    – Yogi
    May 29 '15 at 4:43
  • @Pawan Quite late for it, but a quick query, 7 days of Roman calendar and 7 days according to Panchanga, seems quite a coincidence, but How does our system align so properly with the Roman calendar, like Ravi-Vasarar is Sun-Day (Same name meaning) and similarly how come Ravi-Var falls on same day as Sun-Day, Also, How can we calculate when did this 7 day system actually started.
    – V.Aggarwal
    May 1 '19 at 6:37

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