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Why Hindus Tie Cotton Threads Around Trees?

Cotton Threads of various colours like red, yellow and white are tied around Pipal tree trunks especially in Northern and Western parts of India. This ritual is performed especially on the Vat Savitri puja day (May – June). During Vat Savitri Puja, the Banayan or Pipal Tree symbolically represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The root of Vat Vriksha is Brahma, the stem is Vishnu and the upper part is Shiva.

The Pipal tree plays an important role in the famous story of Satyavan Savitri. It is believed that Satyavan spend his last moments under a Vat or Banyan tree on the full moon day in month of Jyeshtha. And Yamraj appeared here and Savitri pleaded with Yamraj under the Banyan tree.

In memory of this event, women go round the Banyan tree for 108 times tying threads and fast for the health and longevity of their husbands.
There are also other hidden symbolic meanings – one such meanings is narrated by Bhagwat Shah of Pushtimarg 
The Pipal tree represents the tree of life and is sacred in Hindu Religion. It supports life of all sorts and is famous for its long life. The pipal tree also has the property to purify air.
The cotton thread is just the opposite The cotton thread represents the fragile nature of life, love, trust, faith – and all things that go on to make up a relationship. A single thread may be weak, but, when it is wound 108 times around the trunk, it becomes strong. It is no longer so fragile and no longer easy to break.
By walking around the tree 108 times, the wife contemplates on these matters. Love can only be strengthened by trust, faith and desire to make it work! With each step, the woman strengthens her relationship with her husband. She prays not just for her husband’s long life, but an enduring relationship that will last beyond this life and into the next.