India is the country of festivals. India has a vast and diverse heritage. One of the holiest and auspicious Hindu festivals is Karwa Chauth. Karwa Chauth is a fasting ritual carried out by all married Hindu women and it is usually before Diwali. They believe that this festival brings prosperity, longevity and well-being of their husbands.
About Karwa Chauth
On the Karwa Chauth day, women fasts for the whole day and even do not drink water. But some husbands also fasts for their wives as their token of love which shows their bond of love for each other. Women wear bridal outfits with Lehnga, apply Mehndi (Heena), Churra (bangles) on this day. Normally, women who observe this festival are called “Saubhagyavati” meaning “joyous and happy status of wifehood.” The festival emerged also as a day for celebrating autumn. Hindu married women enjoy the company and companionship of relatives and friends. As of recently, the celebration has been given a more religious touch.
Though Karwa Chauth festival is celebrated in every part of the country. But it is glorified and also widely solemnized by Hindus and Sikh living in the northwestern part of India. Karva means earthen pot while Chauth means fourth. Karwa Chauth commemorates the fourth day that follows the full moon in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. This festival is typically celebrated immediately after the autumn harvest. This is the best time to meet friends and relatives and exchange gifts. During this festival, parents send various gifts to their married daughters. During this festival, jewellery, clothes and gifts are received from both the woman’s mother-in-law and mother.
The most important part of Karwa Chauth is that the mother-in-law hands over the ‘sargi’ to the daughter-in-law which must be consumed before sunrise.
Karwa Chauth is a very difficult fast that all married Hindu women observe. The festival begins just before sunrise and women worship Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and even the moon. It is believed that their utmost blessings help one to gain well-being, prosperity, good fortune in the life of their husband and family. This long day fast ends when the moon is seen at night. During this festival, an elderly woman is supposed to narrate a karwa Chauth story before this fast is over When the moon has appeared, women see the moon through a strainer. They break the fast after they have offered water to the moon. Some women break their fast by offering water to their husband with their own hands. It’s essential that the first sip of water and the first morsel of food is served by their loved husbands.
On this day, Goddess Gauri is also being worshipped and even her idol is made from cow dung. A woman sits around the idol with their bayas. They further place a pot which is full of water in front of her. The karva is tied with the red thread and contains kharia, aipun and little roli. At the start of the puja, women apply teeka to Goddess Gauri and even few drops of water are being dropped on her.
Karwa Chauth surely strengths the bond between husband and wife and also helps in maintaining a good relationship with husband’s family.