Vat Savitri Puja, a day when Hindu married women in many states of India pray and fast for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands, was celebrated on Thursday.

The festival is celebrated in recognition of the devotion of mythological character Savitri who fought with Yamaraj (the God of death) to bring her husband Satyawan back to life.

Vat Savitri Puja is observed twice as per the two Hindu lunar calendars —Purnimanta and Amanta — falling this year on 25 May 2017 (Shani Jayanti) and 9 June 2017 (Jyeshtha Purnima), respectively.

Where is this popular

The ‘puja’ is observed in states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Bihar and in parts of South India.

The rituals

The celebrations begin three days ahead of the actual day with women observing fast. Women wake up early in the morning, take bath, get dressed and offer prayers to ‘vat’ (banyan) tree. The day ends with a priest performing rituals and narrating the Savitri-Satyawan story to the devotees. The rituals end with partaking of the ‘prasad’.