What is it and when is it celebrated?
Jaya Pravati Vrat is also known as Gauri Vrat, it is a Hindu festival which hold much significance among woman. It is celebrated in the month of Ashadha by unmarried girls and married woman. The ritual is observed for 5 days. Goddess Parvati is worshipped, because Parvati fasted to have Shiva as her husband. Unmarried girls observe this ritual to find good husband. Married woman observe the fast for happiness and love in their marriage, and their husband’s long life. Female devotees stay awake on the last night of the Vrat, this is known and Jaya Pravati Jagran. It is mainly celebrated in Gujrat, and Western Regions of India. This Vrat is observed for the family’s well-being and to ensure happiness and prosperity in home.
The story behind the Vrat
A Brahmin couple were devoted to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, they were happy in life, but longed for a child. Lord Shiva was pleased with their devotion, he appeared to them in their dreams and asked them to retrieve a Shiva-Linga buried deep in the forest. He asked them to worship the Linga to fulfil their wishes. The Brahmin went to the forest and found the buried Linga, he offered flowers and Bilva leaves. The Brahim’s wife was worried as he had returned, she prayed for husbands safety. Lord Shiva saw the wife’s devotion and her true loyalty he brought her husband back to consciousness. They continued to pray to the Linga together and were blessed with a son. Since then, Jaya Parvati Vrat is observed by women.
Fasting is an important ritual of this festival. Married women observe a partial fast on all the 5 days of the Jaya Parvati Vrat. During this time wheat, salt and specific vegetables are avoided by most of the women. On the first day of this fast, Jwaara or wheat seeds are planted in a small earthen pot and is placed at the place of worship in one’s home. Then, the devotees perform puja of this pot for 5 days continuously. The pot containing wheat seeds is watered every day at the time of Puja. Vermillion is put on a necklace-like strand made of cotton wool which is known as Nagla. This strand is then kept around the edges of the pot. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped with flowers, Nagla, Abil and Gulal, incense sticks, Diya, Kumkum, Water, and Prasad. Women must not eat salt, wheat or wheat products, and vegetables. Women can eat Fruits, Curd, Juice, Milk and Sweet Item.
On the last day of the fast, women who observe Jaya Parvati Vrat observe Jaya Parvati Jagran. On the night of this day, they stay awake all night long singing hymns and bhajans and chanting Aartis. During night vigil, Women Should Pray Mata Parvati and Lord Shiva. This night vigil is done till the next day which is celebrated as Gauri Tritiya when this 5-day long fast is broken.
On the very next day of Jagran, the wheat grass in the pot is taken out and put in a holy river or any other water body. Puja is performed and other important religious rituals are observed, after which, women break the fast by eating a wholesome meal comprising of cereals, vegetables and salt.