Vat Amavasya, also referred as Vata Savitri Amavasya Vrat, is observed by married women in North India. In 2011, the date of Vat Amavasya is June 1. The fasting and rituals is a three day affair and it begins on May 30, 2011.
by Mantra & shlokas on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 12:15pm
"Savitri Amavasya" or "Savitri Brata" is observed on the 'Amavasya' (last day of the dark fortnight) in the month of 'Jyestha'. This day is most favorable for the married Hindu women whose husbands are alive. They observe it as a vow with great dedication and pray for the long life of their husbands. The word reflects the whole origin and significance of the Vat-Savitri puja. 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 dedicated 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 Satyavan regains his lost kingdom.
Legend behind the Festival
The vrata has been named after Savitri. Savitri was the beautiful daughter of king Aswapati of Madra Desa. She selected Satyavan as her life's partner, a prince in exile who was living in the forest with his blind father Dyumatsen. She left the palace and 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 Satyavan head reeled and he fell down from the tree and then breathed his last on the lap of his beloved wife, Savitri. Then appeared Yamraj, the death God to take away the soul of Satyavan from his body. Deeply hurt Savitri, 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. Satyavan got back his 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, in the early morning the women take purificatory bath and wear new clothes, new bangles and apply vermilion on the fore-head. On Savitri brata 9 types of fruits and 9 types of flower are offered to the Goddess Savitri. Wet pulses, rice, mango, jack fruit, palm fruit, kendu, banana and several other fruits are offered as Bhoga (offering) and observe the festival with Savitri barta katha. After observing fasting for the whole day the fasting women simply take the Bhoga. In the afternoon when all formalities of worship are over they bow low to their respective husbands and elderly people.