Savitri Vrata ( ସାବିତ୍ରୀ ଓଷା,ସାବିତ୍ରୀ ବ୍ରତ) or Savitri Amavasya ( ସାବିତ୍ରୀ ଅମାବାସ୍ୟା) is a fasting day observed by married Hindu Odia and Maithil women of Nepalese Mithila and India on the Amavasya, the no moon day in the Bikram Sambat month of Jestha. It is also known as Sabitri Uwaans in Western Odisha region
Married Hindu women whose husbands are alive observe it as a vow with great dedication, and pray for their husband to have a long life. The word reflects the origin and significance of the Vat-Savitri puja. The fast is dedicated to Savitri, who saved her husband Satyavan from being taken by the death god.
The same festival is observed on Vat Purnima, the full moon of Jyestha in other regions including Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka.
The Brata was named after Savitri. She was the beautiful daughter of King Aswapati of Madra Desa. She selected Satyaban as her life 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 inlaws in the forest. As a devoted wife and daughter-in-law, she went to great lengths to take
care of them. One day while cutting wood in the forest, Satyaban’s head reeled and he fell down from a tree. Savitri accompanied him on that day. Then Yamraj, the death God, appeared to take away his soul. Deeply hurt, Savitri pleaded to Yamraj not to be separated from her husband. If 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.
All Hindu women observe this festival by worshiping and propitiating Savitri as a Devi. In the early morning, women take purifying baths, wear new clothes and bangles, and apply vermilion to their foreheads. Nine types of fruits and nine types of flowers are offered to the Goddess. Wet pulses, rice, mangos, jackfruits, palm fruits, kendu, bananas and several other fruits are offered as Bhoga (offering) and observe the festival with Savitri brata katha. After fasting for the whole day, the fasting is over and the women have the Bhogal. In the afternoon, when formalities of worship are over, they bow to their husbands and elderly people.
Savitri Amavasya or Savitri Brata which is most auspicious for the married Hindu women with husbands alive. Women observe as a vow with great devotion and pray for the long life of their husbands. It is a story of conjugal loves which conquers death. One can beat all odds in life through true devotional love. Satyaban was known for his honesty and truthfulness. Savitri was determined to marry him in spite of knowing from Narada that Satyaban is destined to die one year from the day of their marriage. As per her wishes the marriage took place. So strong was the single-minded love and determination of Savitri that she chose a noble youngman for her husband, knowing that he had only a year to live. Three days before the foreseen death of Satyaban, Savitri takes a vow of fasting. The morning of Satyaban’s predicted death; she also accompanied him to the forest. While Satyaban was collecting wood, he suddenly became weak and laids his head in Savitri’s lap.
Yama himself, the god of Death, comes to claim the soul of Satyaban. Savitri follows Yama as he carries the soul away. Savitri ran after him, and pleaded with Yama either take her along with him to the land of the dead or give back the life of Satyaban. Yama replied, “Your time has not yet come, child. Go back to your home.” But Savitri insisted on accompanying her husband. She also tries all her logic to convince him and repeatedly requested him for her husband’s life