Vat Purnima or Wat Purnima is a traditional festival celebrated across Indian in different states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana. Traditional festivals of Amanta and Purnimanta as per the Hindu lunar calendar occur on the same day. The northern parts such as Madhya Pradesh, Harayana, Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh of India go in accordance with Purnimanta Calender whereas the southern parts follow Amanta Calender.
However Vat Savitri Vrat could be considered as an exception. In Purnimanta calendar Vat Savitri Vrat is observed during Jyeshtha Amavasya (No moon day) on the 4th of June, 2016 (Saturday). which coincides with Shani Jayanti. In Amanta calendar Vat Savitri Vrat, is observed during Jyeshtha Purnima on the 19th of June, 2016 (Sunday). But Vat Savitri Vrat stands aside. As per Purnimanta calender, this Vrat is followed in Jyeshtha New Moon Day which concurs with Shani Jayanti. Thus, in the states like Maharastra, Gujarat and those of south India, wives follow Vat Savitri Vrat a fortnight later than the married women of northern states.
On this way, wives pray to the Divine for their husbands’ prosperity and longevity tying ritual threads around the trunk of a banyan tree (Wata); this ritual is also called as peepal puja.
During this festival, women observe fast for their husbands, putting on bridal dresses and elegant jewellery. The fast is observed throughout the night until next morning. The next morning women break their fast and offer charity to Brahmins. Women engage in the worship of a banyan (Wata) tree, and listen to the legend of Savitri.
After the women offer water to the tree and spread red powder (kumkum) on it, cotton threads are wrapped round tree's trunks and they do the parikrama or circumambulate seven times round it.
The Legend associated with Vat Savitri
As per a Vedic legend, Savitri, the devout wife of Satyavan, once found out that her husband had no longer life. Seated under a banyan tree, Satyavan in his wife’s lap was waiting for his death summon from the god of death Yama. Soon, the messengers of Yama appeared on the scene to take away her husband but she refused to hand her husband over to him. They could not take him away until Lord Yama Himself appeared who, seeing her obstinacy, offered her a boon. She wished that her in-laws live a happy life, it was granted. She then wished the same for her parents, it was granted. She followed them till the abode of Yama. Again, she wished to have a son. Lord Yama granted. She quickly said: ‘My dear lord, how is that possible to have a son without the husband?” Lord Yama found Himself in a quandary and had to return the soul of her husband.
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