Swasthani fast concludes

Himalayan News Service

Shankhu, February 23:

For many women, today marked the end of their observing a one-month-long fast for loving and caring husbands, and their long and healthy lives.

Over 250 women gathered today at the town of Shankhu, 26 km north of the capital, to worship Goddess Swasthani and bathe in the Shali river. Hundreds of pilgrims and devotees from various areas of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, also visit the place and either wash their faces or take a dip in the muddy waters of the holy river.

Practitioners say the month-long fasting is carried out in accordance to the rituals of the Swasthani Brathakatha, which is narrated in almost all the Hindu homes of the country.

During the month, Madhav Narayan is worshipped. According to a legend, it was him who instructed Parvati to observe a fast to win Shiva’s heart.

For one whole month, those who observe the fast eat one meal a day and take walks as a pilgrimage along the Pashupatinath area, Sano Gaucharan, Bhotahity, Hanumandhoka, Banepa, Sankhu, Changu Narayan and Bajrajogini.