Jaya Pravati Vrata, also referred as Jayaparvati Vrat, is observed by married women in the Hindu month of Ashada. The ritual is observed mainly in
Gujarat and is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Shiva. In 2012, Jaya Parvati Vrat begins (date) on July 1 and ends on July 5. Married women stay awake on the last day of the Vrat and therefore the day is referred as Jayaparvati Jagran (on July 5 in 2012).
Jaya Pravathi Vrat starts on the 13th day in the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in the month Ashada (July) and is observed for five consecutive days. A partial fast is observed during the five-day period of the Vrata. Salt is avoided by most married women.
Legend has it that a childless couple prayed to Lord Shiva and Parvati for a child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva appeared them in their dream and asked them to worship a Shivling existing in a nearby dense forest.
The couple went to the forest and found the Shivling and cleaned the place for worship. The husband then went to get flowers but was bitten by a snake on the way.
A worried wife found the husband in an unconscious state; she returned to the Shivling and started praying for the safety of her husband.
The true devotion of the wife melted the heart of Shiva and Parvati and they brought the husband back to life. The couple then continued their worship and in due course was blessed with a child.
Jaya Parvati Vrat is based on this ancient tale and it is believed that those who observe the Vrat will have a long married life and will be blessed with healthy children.
Salt is completely avoided during the five days of Vrata. Wheat and vegetables are also avoided. Various poojas dedicated to Shiva and Parvati like the Uma Maheshwar puja are performed during this period.
On the fifth day, an all night vigil or ‘jagran’ is kept by those observing the Vrata. This staying awake during the night is referred as Jayaparvati Jagran.
Jaya Parvati Vrat is broken by eating food containing wheat and salt on the final day.
There is a tradition that those who observe Jaya Parvati Vrat should do it for five or seven years consecutively.
During the same period, unmarried women and young girls observe the Gauri Vrat in Gujarat.