Karva Chauth: Praying For Better Half’s Long Life
Karva Chauth 2018
Date of Karva Chauth Festival: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Places of merriment: Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Did you know that married Indian women makes sure to perform rituals and customs to ensure the prosperity and longevity of their husbands? And that too, in an extraordinary and unique manner!! Well, that the festival called ‘Karva Chauth, which is a much awaited festival among married women.
Karwa Chauth History
Karva Chauth is commemorated exactly nine days before Diwali. It is observed on the fourth day after the Full Moon in Kartik month, which is falls generally in October. Generally, a few days before Karva Chauth, married women go on a shopping spree looking out for perfect ‘karvas’ �spherical clay pots. They paint them with beautiful designs and put bangles, ribbons, home made candies and sweets inside the pot. Some of them put feminine items like make up kits and perfumes. These are then exchange during the get together.
So also, they decorate the ‘puja thali’ with fine mirror and bead works with glittering cloth. It is called as ‘Baya’ which contains the roli, vermilion, sacred water, dry fruits, earthen clay pots, diyas and Indian sweets.
Information on Karwa Chauth Fasting
The main onus behind Karwa Chauth is the dawn to dusk fast. The fast begins sunrise and ends the fast after seeing the moon. Considered to be toughest of all Hindu religious fast, the women must not eat or drink water. On this day, prior to sunrise, the women seek the blessings of the Ganesha and Parvati Gods for longevity of their husbands and children. Mothers-in-law feed their daughters-in-law sumptuous food called ‘Sargi’.
Dressing up Like a Princes
With Indian women fond of being decked and bejeweled, they dress up in elegant and exquisite finery either in shades of red and pink. Some of them prefer the lehenga cholis or Banaras saris embellished with colored stones, sawaski diamonds and metals. They are bejeweled in their heavy gold and silver jewellery. They adore their hands with different Mehendi designs.
Gearing up to Break the Fast
Before evening, the married woman receives basket full of goodies containing sweets, jewellery, fruits and sari gifted from her mother in law. Before the sun sets, most of the women in a locality gather in one house and prepare a corner for the puja. Here, they place the image of Gauri Mata or Goddess Parvati.
The Puja Process
The women sit around this image with their bayas. Each woman also places a karva with seven pieces of pua (a type of jaggery) in front of her. A red thread is tied around the karva. At the beginning, women apply the roli teeka to Goddess Gauri and sprinkle water on her.
Listening To Vrata Katha – The Legend Behind Karva Chauth
An elderly woman of the family narrates the legend of Karva Chauth. While chanting the prayers for husband’s longevity, they pass their bayas from one to another. Thereafter, the wait for the moonrise begins after sunset. As soon as the moon is sighted, the fasting women break the fast by observing the moon through a sieve. Thereafter, the first sip of water and morsel of food are offered by the husband.
Gifts From Husband
Husbands feel proud to see her better half observing such a rigorous fast for him. He gets overwhelmed with love and respect for her wife and pampers her with loads of Karva Chauth gifts.