Wat Pournima is the festival for Maharashtrian women, which is celebrated in the month of Jesht (May-June). Women observe a fast and tie threads around a banyan tree and pray for the same husband in every birth.
The celebration derived from the story of Savitri and Satyavan. It has
been foretold that Satyavan won't live long. Resting on the lap of
Savitri, Satyavan was waiting for death under a banyan tree, when the
day of death comes. The messenger of Yama, the God of death came to take
Satyavan. But Savitri refused to give her beloved husband. Messenger
after messenger tried to take Satyavan away, but in vain. Finally, Yama
himself appeared in front of Savitri and insisted to give her husband.
Since, she was still adamant, he offered her a boon. She asked for the
well being of her in-laws. He granted it to her. She then followed him
as he took Satyavan's body away. He offered her another boon. She now
asked for the well being of her parents. This boon, too, was granted.
But she was relentless, and continued to follow him. As they approached
Yama's abode, he offered her a final boon. She asked for a son. He
granted it. She then asked him how it would be possible for her to beget
sons without her husband. Yama was trapped and had to return her
So, married women pray to the banyan tree for the long life of their
husbands and children. Their fast is observed the whole night till the
Vat Pournima is a festival celebrated by women in the month of Jesht (May-June). On the day of Wat purnima, married women observe a fast.