Vat Purnima Festival

Vat Purnima
Since ages women have devoted their life for the family. They keep fast, do all the rituals, and worship to the God and Goddess for wellbeing of their family. The Indian women, especially Hindus, have still kept alive the tradition of offering prayer for the sake of being married. There are a few ceremonies bearing different names according to the dialect preferences of the regions . Vat Purnima is one festival which exemplifies a wife's adoration of her husband.

Vat Purnima Festival The Vat Purnima festival is devotedly celebrated by Hindus married women. They worship the banyan tree to invoke its blessing for the protection of their husbands lives from evil. The banyan tree is sacred for Hindus and it is referred as 'Vat.' Young unmarried girls can also participate in the prayer to seek a blessing of getting married to the most suitable and perfect person in their lives. This festival comes on a full moon day which appears on the 15th day in Jyestha Mas. As it is celebrated to honour the gut and determination of a devoted wife known in the Hindu mythology as 'Savitri,' this festival is also celebrated as Vat Savitri Purnima.

The Legend

The origin of this festival stem ups from the story of Savitri and Satyavan. These two characters belong to the primordial period. Savitri was a loving wife and a god-fearing person. She used to stay with her in-laws in a forest. One day, her husband fell from a tree that brought him closer to the door of death. Before leaving his life, he rested his head on Savitri's lap under a banyan tree. When Yamraz sent his messenger to take his soul, Savitri resisted strongly. Then, Yamraz himself came to do the job. Savitri pleaded and requested him not to take his life. She also made a proposal that if at all her husband have to die, then the God of death must take her life too. Seeing her immense love for husband, Yamraz promised her to fulfill any other wishes against her husband' life. First, she asked for the prosperity of her in-laws, which was granted. Then, she asked the same for her parents and that too was granted. The last wish was for a son. Without even thinking for a moment, Yamraz blessed her. Then she reminded him how this wish can be fulfilled if her husband is not alive. Since the boon cannot be reversed, Yamraz had to return her husband's life. And as all the intelligence, firm determination, and self-confidence she got by sitting under the banyan tree which helped to get back her husband, the tree has become sacred since then due to its mystical power. Therefore, it has been worshipped on this day.

Vat Purnima Celebration

This festival is celebrated to show love, devotion, and wish for a longer life for husbands. Every Hindu married woman in India observe it with pure thoughts and good feelings throughout India. The name of this ceremony is different in the south and it is called Karadaiyan Nonbu.

Since Savitri is the inspiration for all the married women, she is worshipped as goddess. Women keep fast on this day. In some places, the celebration is held for three days. In other places the last day of purnima is the main day. Women get ready in their traditional attire. They wear jewelry, bangles, and apply bindi and vermilion which are an identification of being married. After getting ready, they touch feet of elders and their husbands at home. Then, they proceed to the banyan tree with a thali and ingredients of pooja. They start with pouring the holy water at the root of the tree. A red thread is then tied around the tree and incense sticks are burned. They apply vermillion on the tree which is a tradition and practice in Hindu for married women. An aarti is performed by burning kapur (camphor) and rotating the thali. They go around the tree for 108 times remembering Savitra and seeking her blessing for a long happy married life.

As an offering to the goddess, they place wet pulses, flowers, banana, mango, jack fruits, puri, and sweet dishes such as kheer or halwa. Then they apply sindhur on the forehead of all who have gathered for the pooja and are married. Back at home after offering prayer to the banyan tree, women draw a picture of the tree with a paste of sandalwood and turmeric. They recall the incidences of Savitra and her obstinacy for getting back her husband from Yamraz.

Vat Purnima is genuine feelings of a married woman for her husband. This is one of the important fasting and sacred ceremony for Hindu married women that defines the sanctity of marriage. They believe that by praying to goddess Savitri, they can have a boon of being married for their whole life.