Barsaet (Vat Savitri) aka vrat purnima is a traditional festival celebrated by married women of #mithila and also across India and Nepal. Vat Savitri Vrata is a ritual and custom performed by 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.
Legend of Savitri and Satyavan as narrated in the epic Mahabharata. King Ashtapati had a beautiful and intelligent daughter named Savitri. The King gave her the permission to choose her husband. She sets out on a pilgrimage for this purpose and finds Satyavan, the son of a blind king named Dyumatsena who lives in exile as a forest-dweller. Savitri returns to find her father speaking with Sage Narada who tells her she has made a bad choice; although perfect in every way, Satyavan is destined to die one year from that day. Savitri insists on going ahead and marries Satyavan. Three days before the foreseen death of Satyavan, Savitri takes a vow of fasting and vigil.
The morning of Satyavan’s predicted death, he is splitting wood and suddenly becomes weak and lays his head in Savitri’s lap and dies. Savitri places his body under the shade of a Vat (Banyan) tree. Yama, the god of Death, comes to claim Satyavan’s soul. Savitri follows him as he carries the soul away. She offers him praise and Yama, impressed by both the content and style of her words, offers her any boon, except the life of Satyavan. She first asks for eyesight and restoration of the kingdom for her father-in-law, then a hundred children for her father, and then a hundred children for herself and Satyavan. The last wish creates a dilemma for Yamraj, but impressed by Savitri’s dedication and purity, he grants life to Satyavan and blesses Savitri’s life with eternal happiness. Satyavan awakens as though he has been in a deep sleep and returns to his parents along with his wife.
When it is celebrated?
Vat savitri vrat is celebrated during the three days of the month of Jyeshtha in the Hindu calendar (which falls in May–June in the Gregorian calendar) a married woman marks her love for her husband by tying a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree.
How it is celebrated?
On this day Maithil women (#Maithilani) keeps fast and worship bargad 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. Women are beautifully dressed on this day; some women keep fast for 3 days and most of them at least for a day. After breaking their fast, fruits, clothes 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 banyan tree, sprinkle red powder (Kumkum, Simrik, abir) on it, cotton threads are wrapped around tree's trunks and then they go seven times round and to do the parikrama. It is believed that, the seven rounds of parikrama 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. Just so you know this celebration is based on the legend of Savitri and Satyavan as narrated in the epic Mahabharata.