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Updated on: January 18, 2020 17:05 IST

Swasthani Brata Katha: A Festival about Fasting, Reading, Discipline

Women donned in maroon red outfits gathered on the banks of Salinadi River to take a dip and worship Lord Shiva. Braving the winter chill, the devotees follow the same rituals for the entire month to celebrate the festival of Shree Swasthani Brata Katha in which devotees recite chapters from the book called "Swasthani". After offering prayers, the women eat food devoid of salt and other spices and that too only once a day. During the ritual, Devotees, who take on fast for a month, do not eat food cooked by others. They devour various types of food that are prepared to mark the end of the day. It is believed that everything in the food has to be 108 pieces including flowers. The fasting food majorly includes eat rice, beaten rice, sugar, ghee, sugar candy, molasses, spinach from Patan, peas amongst those considered sacred. The sermon recited for a month mentions that Goddess Parvati prayed to Goddess Swasthani to become Lord Shiva's wife because of which unmarried females also observe fast praying to get a suitable groom. The married men pray for the well-being and progress of their spouses and children. Celebration of such festivals depicts how people have preserved their culture and traditions for ages.