Vat Purnima or WatPurnima is the festival in which women pray for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands. The northern states of India, such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Harayana follow the Purnimata calendar, according to which the festival is observed on the JyesthaAmavasya (no moon day) which concurs with ShaniJayanti. On the other hand, the southern states of India, like Karnataka, follow the Amanta calendar, according to which the Vat Purnima is observed on the JyesthaPurnima (full moon day). Hence, in the southern states and those of Gujarat and Maharashtra, vat purnimavratis observed by the wives a fortnight later than the married women of the northern states of India.
Vat Purnima Celebration
Vat Purnima or WatPurnima is celebrated all over India by the married women, by worshipping the banyan tree and praying for good fortune, long life and prosperity of their husbands. They also desire to have the same husband for every birth. On the day of WatPurnima, women dress up in their bridal finery with elegant jewellery and apply vermillion in the hair parting line and on the forehead, after taking a bath early in the morning.
They observe a fast all night long and break it the next day, when the purnima is over. Fruits, coins and clothes are given to the Brahmins in charity after breaking the fast. They offer water, rice and flowers to the Banyan tree, sprinkle kumkum or red powder on it,tie cotton threads around the trunk of a banyan tree and circumambulate it seven times during its worship and this is called parikrama or pradakshina.
Cotton threads are tied around the trunk of a Banyan tree by married women, to seek the blessings of the God for the well-being of their husbands. Rice, wet pulses, mango, banana, lemon, jack fruit are offered as bhoga (offering). After breaking the fast, the women have this bhog. After completing all the formalities or rituals for the worship, the women bow low and pay respect to the elderly people and their husbands. Savitri is worshipped as a deity during this festival and women listen to the legends of Savitri, who is considered to be the epitome of dedication and commitment.
The Vat Purnima or WatPurnima is celebrated with a lot of pomp and fanfare in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. In Tamil Nadu, this festival is known as “KaradayianNonbu”. During this festival, married women and young girls, as young as 1 year old dress up in yellow robes and observes the rituals in the state of Tamil Nadu.