Savitri Brata is observed by married Mithila women in Terai or Madhesh region of Nepal on the last day of the dark half of the month (no moon day, amabasya or ausi) of Jestha of the Hindu lunar calendar. Vat puja on Jestha Amvasya day is also called called Vat Amavasya or Savitri Amavasya Vrata.
Vat Savitri Vrata is a ritual and custom performed by Nepali married woman for her husband’s health, well-being and long life. The day is dedicated to observing prayer for everlasting conjugal love between wife and husband and their longevity.
There are traditions of observing this festival on Purnima (full moon day) in Jestha also.
When is Vat Savitri Vrata
Vat Amavasya or Savitri Amavasya Vrata generally falls in the month of Jesth in Nepali Bikram Sambar Calendar, It is generally in May or June in English calendar.
This year Sabitri brata is on Jestha 14, 2071. That is on May 28, 2014.
How do we celebrate Vat Savitri Vrata
This day Nepali Maithili women observe fasting and worship peeple tree (vat brikshya or banyan tree). It is believed that those who perform Vat Savitri Puja under Vat Vriksh will be blessed with Soubhagya or longer life of their husband. On this occasion of Vata Savitri Purnima women observe fasting for her husband. Women wear bridal type dresses and jewelry.
Some women keep fast for 3 days and most of them at least for a day. After breaking their fast, fruits, clothes and such other articles are given in charity in a bamboo basket to the Brahmins. Late in the afternoon when all formalities of worships are done, woman bow respectfully to her husband and elderly people.
Women worship a banyan (vata) tree, and listens Savitri katha (story) in groups. Women offer prayer and worship in this day. During this puja women pray for good health of their husbands. Women feed water to the peeple tree, sprinkle red powder (kumkum, simrik, abir) on it, cotton threads are wrapped round vata trees trunks and then they go seven times round and to do the parikrama. It is believed that, the seven round of parikram tie the relationship between husband and wife for seven more lives to come.
During the puja, women offer Bhog (food offerings) to Savitri Devi and worship her with utmost devotion. This festival is celebrated by wife for the well-being of her husband and long and firm relationship between them.
Vat Savitri Vrata pooja is dedicated to Sati Savitri, who got back her husband alive by penance and worship. On seeing the unflinching faith and love for her husband the God of death, Yamaraj bestowed life to Satyavan .The day is dedicated to observing prayer for everlasting conjugal love between the wife and husband and their longevity.
Sabitri Brata katha (Story of Vat Savitri Vrata)
The story of Satyavan and Savitri is a sub plot in the Mahabharata. King Ashtapati had a beautiful and intelligent
daughter named Savitri. The King gave her the permission to choose her husband. One day, Savitri met a young man in the forest who was carrying his blind parents in two baskets balanced on either side of a stick. The young man was Satyavan.
Impressed by Satyavan’s devotion towards his blind parents, Savitri decided to marry him. On enquiry, the King found out from Sage Narada that Satyavan was the son of a deposed king and that he was destined to die in a year.
King first refused to give permission for the marriage but Savitri was adamant. Finally, the King relented and the marriage was conducted and the couple left for the forest.
They led a happy life and soon a year passed. Savitri realized that the date Sage Narad had predicted that Satyavan would die will fall in three days-time.
Three days before the predicted day of death of Satyavan, Savitri started fasting.
The day Satyavan was destined to die, Savitri followed him to the forest. While cutting woods from a Vat Vriksha (Banyan Tree), he fell down and fainted. Soon, Savitri realized that Satyavan is dying. Suddenly she felt the presence of Yama, the god of death. She saw him carrying the soul of Satyavan and she followed Yama.
Yama first ignored Savitri thinking that she will soon return back to her husband’s body. But she persisted and kept on following him. Yama tried few tricks to persuade her but nothing worked. Savitri remained adamant and said that she will follow her husband where ever he goes.
Then Yama said that it is impossible for him to give back the dead as it is against the nature’s law. Instead, he will give her three boons and she should not ask to return her husband's life as a boon.
With the first boon she asked that her in-laws be reinstated in their kingdom with full glory.
With the second boon she asked for a son for her father.
Finally, for the third boon she asked ‘I would like to have children.’
Yama immediately said ‘granted.’
Then Savitri said, ‘now that you have granted me the boon of having children please return my husband as I can only have children from him.’
Soon Yama realized that he had been tricked by Savitri, a pativrata.
Yama remained silent for a minute and then smiled and said ‘I appreciate you persistence. But what I liked more was you readiness to marry a man whom you loved even though you knew that he would only live for a year. Go back to your husband he will soon wake up.’
Soon Savitri returned to the Vat Vriksha were her husband was lying dead. She started going round (pradakishna) the Vat Vriksha and when she completed the pradaksihna, Satyavan woke up as if from sleep.
Soon Savitri and Satyavan were reunited.
People worship Vat Vriksha and perform Savitri puja in memory of this event.
Festivals in Nepal >