Vat Savitri, also known as Vat Purnima, is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated by married women across India. It is widely celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab. The festival is celebrated twice, based on the two Hindu lunar calendars – Amanta and Purnimanta. The Southern states follow the former calendar while the Northern states follow Purnimanta. According to Purnimanta calendar, Vat Savitri is celebrated on Jyestha Amavasya. While according to Amanta calendar, the festival is celebrated on Jyestha Purnima which in 2019 falls on June 16.
Vat Savitri is celebrated by observing fast and worshipping banyan tree. There was a tradition to observe fast for three days before the actual festival day. While today most women fast only on the Vat Savitri Day. Savitri is worshipped on the day and banyan tree has equal significance on the festival.
Here’s how to perform Vat Purnima puja:
- Vat Savitri puja can be performed alone or in a groups.
- Women dress in traditional attire, adorn their hands with henna and wear jewellery.
- Pour Ganga water on the sacred thread and tie it around the banyan tree.
- Priest performs the puja and narrates the story of Savitri and Satyavan.
- Offer soaked pulses, fruits, and rice as bhog. This bhog is later consumed by women while breaking the vrat.
- Worship the tree by applying vermillon, chandan and offering flowers and fruits to the tree.
- Women pray to the lord for longevity and good health of their husband.
- After completing all the rituals women seek blessings of their husbands and elder members of the family.
- There is also a tradition of donating food, clothes, and money.