is considered to be a
traditional Hindu festival for married women and is celebrated in some parts
of India. There is a ritual of fasting observed by married Hindu women (
Suhagan) seeking the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands.
It is popular amongst married women in the northern and western parts of
India, especially, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.The
ritual involves keeping a strict fast by married women and they do not take
even a drop of water.
day starts with getting up early in the morning, performing their ablutions,
and wear new and festive clothes. In Punjab women start their fast by
consuming food items and sweets called sergi which is sent to them or given
by their mother-in-law before the dawn. Shiva, Parvati and their son
Kartikeya are worshipped on this day along with the 10 'karwas' (earthen
pots) filled with sweets. The Karwas are given to daughters and sisters
along with gifts. The fast is broken after looking at the moon through the
sieve and then looking at her hasband's face. The process involves looking
at their husbands just after seeing the moon.
Karwa means earthen
pot and chauth means fourth night after the full moon. It is celebrated on
the fourth night after the full Moon in the month of kartik in the Hindu
calendar. It has great social and cultural significance and is mostly
practiced in northern India. Wives start their fast at night just after the
appearance of the moon, within sight of their husbands.
wait until the next night's moonrise to begin the fast breaking ceremonies,
without consuming any food or drink. In the evening women dress in their
best clothing, and adorn themselves with jewellery and henna. On sighting
the moon, they look and offer prayers and worship to it, and then receive
their first bite of food and water from their husbands. Thereafter, women
consume their special meal prepared for the occasion. Worshipping the moon
involves filling up the karwa with specially prepared food and jewellery and
offering it to the god. Karwas are also exchanged with other women after
that. Further practices involve telling and listening to stories regarding
origin of Karwa Chauth. Celebrations of Karwa Chauth
The auspicious Occasions of Karva Chauth festival is celebrated by
married women of North India with complete dedication and so much fanfare in
the form of fasting from sunrise to moon rise without eating a bit or
drinking a drop. They observe the most difficult fast for the long life and
prosperity of their husbands.Significance of Karwa
The festival of Karwa Chauth is observed with a
fasting tradition by the married women. So unique in nature women keeps the
fast to pray for the welfare and long life of their husbands. Karwa Chauth
festival brings married women more closer to their Mother-in-laws. Like
other festivals, Karwa Chauth is also marked by gatherings by friends and
relatives, preparing delicious food, exchanging of gifts and well wishes.
All the decorations, jewelry, heena and joyous atmosphere signifies the
splendor and happiness of a married life. Unlike from past the celebrations
of Karwa Chauth festival is changing with the times.
parlours, jewelry shops, and restaurants have made this festive Occasions a
full-fledged commercial activity. Unmarried girls have also started to
observe the fast for getting their dream husband. Photographs and phone
calls are doing away the need to wait till the moon rise to end the fast.
This shows the changing and glorifying face of Karwa Chauth festival. Legends
of Karva Chauth
As per a legend in the Mahabharata, once Arjun had
gone for worship to the Nilgiri Hills. Draupadi was struck with fear
believing that she was alone in the forest with no one to protect her. She
invoked Lord Krishna who appeared before her. On hearing her predicament
Lord Krishna cited an example of Goddess Parvati.
Parvati in a
similar situation asked Lord Shiva's help. Lord Shiva explained to her that
to ward off such apprehensions, a woman could observe a fast on Kartik
Krishna Chaturthi as a remedy. There is also the story of the Satyavan and
Savitri. Savitri with her unparalleled love for her husband averted his
untimely death. When Lord Yama, came to procure Satyavan's soul, Savitri
begged him to grant him life. When he refused, she stopped eating and
drinking and Yamraj finally relented. He granted her, her husband's life.
Karwa Chauth is an occasion that encourage people to gather and
socialize with friends and family, exchange gifts and share home-cooked
meals. The gifts exchanged on this occasion reflects joy, splendor,
brightness and happiness of a married life.