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Vat-Savitri puja is a fasting day for married women, the ritual practiced for Savitri is meant for the well-being and long life of the husband. The fasting is assigned to Savitri and Satyavana her husband who was destined to die within one year but was brought back to life by her severe penance. The God of death, Yama is implored by Savitri when he is about to leave his body and due to her sheer determination and devotion to her husband, she wins him back to life and soon Satayavana regains his lost kingdom.
The vrata has been named after Savitri. Savitri was the beautiful daughter of king Aswapati of Madra Desa. She selected Satyawaan as her life's partner, a prince in exile who was living in the forest with his blind father Dyumatsen. She left the palace an lived with her husband and the in-laws in the forest. As a devoted wife and daughter in-law she took all pains to take care of them.
One day while cutting wood in the jungle Satyawaan head reeled and he fell down from the tree and then expired on the lap of his beloved wife, Savitri. Then appeared Yamraj, the death God to take away the soul of Satyaban from his body. Savitri, deeply hurt pleaded to Yamraj not to be separated from her husband. If at all he would take away the soul of her husband she would also follow. Yamraj, moved by the devotion of Savitri returned the life of her husband. Satyaban came to life again and both of them lived happily thereafter.
Customs & Rituals
All Hindu women observe this festival worshiping and propitiating Savitri as a Devi. On this day, early morning the women take purificatory bath and wear new clothes, new bangles and apply vermilion on the fore-head and the hair-parting line. Then Savitri is worshiped. Wet pulses and rice, mango, jackel fruit, lemon, banana and several other fruits are offered as Bhoga (offering). After observing fasting for the whole day they simply take the Bhoga. In the afternoon when all formalities of worship are over they bow low to their respective husbands and elderly people.
Regional Celebrations Of Vat-Savitri Puja
This festival is celebrated throughout India, especially in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Orissa. In south India this fast is known as Karadaiyan Nonbu and is observed by married women of Tamil Nadu and Karanataka.