Vrat is observed by married women. This religious observance starts on
the 13th day of the month of Ashadh and is observed for 5 days. It is
then celebrated by an all night vigil or Jagaran or keeping awake. There
is also a legend behind this rite.
There was a Brahmin couple. They were devotees of Lord Shiva. They had
everything in their life. But the couple was childless. They used to worship
Lord Shiva every day in the temple. Lord Shiva was pleased with the continuous
devotion of the couple and there was a revelation (Akaashvani) which said:
"My Shiva Linga is at a certain place in the jungle. No body is performing
its puja. Your wishes will be fulfilled if you go there and perform its
puja." The Brahmin couple was pleased when they heard this. They
went to the jungle and found out the place where Lord Shiva's Shiva Linga
was. The man went in search of flowers and leaves for use in puja. A snake
bit him on the way and he fell on the road in an unconscious state. His
wife got worried as her husband did not return and went. in search of
him. She prayed intensely for her husband's safety. Lord Shiva saw the
true devotion of this Brahmin woman and so brought her husband back to
consciousness. The couple continued to pray at the Shiva Linga and were
blessed with a son. They were very happy.
This is how the Jaya Parvati Vrat has originated. It is for married women.
In this vrat or religious observance preference has been given to the
puja of the Shivaling. Married women perform this vrat for five years
and then celebrate it by inviting other married women to their homes for
a meal. These women are presented with red kumkum powder to wish well
for their husbands and a utensil as a token of the vrat. Kumkum is used
by married women to put a tilak on their foreheads between the two eyebrows,
to signify that their husbands are alive.
It is believed that observing the Jaya Parvati Vrat brings happiness in