A festival widely celebrated by married women of India and most commonly celebrated in Northern India. In 2017, Karwa Chauth will fall on 8th October. Sometimes, unmarried girls also celebrate the festivals for the sake of getting the desired life partner. Married women perform whole day fast for wellness and long life of their husbands.
Karwa Chauth – “Karwa” is the Hindi synonym of the word pot & “Chauth” means fourth. The festival is celebrated on the fourth day of Kartik month.
Origin Of Karwa Chauth
Mythology states about a beautiful queen Veeravati who was the only sister of seven loving brothers. After her marriage, she observed fast of first Karwa Chauth following her brother’s wives and mother. Her brothers asked to have dinner with her at night, however, she denied to eat anything before moon rise. Her brothers loved her very much and were not able to see their sister standing the rigors of fasting and desperately waiting for the moon to rise. The seven brothers were very disturbed watching the distress of their sister and decided to end her fast by deceiving her.
Then the brothers created a mirror-like image with the help of fire through Pipal tree leaves and asked her sister to break the fast. Veervati asked her brother wives to break the fast as well. But they said her that your brothers are deceiving you, the moon had not risen yet. But Veervati avoided their words. The sister, taken it as moonrise, broke the fast and ate food. The moment the queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband was dead. She immediately rushed to her husband and on her way she met Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. She performed the Karwa Chauth rituals under strict rituals with complete devotion and brought her husband back to life. Parvati advised observing the Karwa Chauth carefully.
Some other stories of Karwa Chauth………
Another story states that earlier, girls used to get married, go and live with their in-laws in very remote villages. Everyone would be a stranger there for the new bride. In case she had any problems with her husband or in-laws, she would have no one to talk to or seek support from. Her own parents and relatives would be quite far and unreachable. Telephones, buses, and trains were not heard of in those days. People had to walk almost a whole day to go from one place to other. Once the girl left her parent’s home for in-laws, she might not be back before long. Thus the custom started that, at the time of marriage, when
Once the girl left her parent’s home for in-laws, she might not be back before long. Thus the custom started that, at the time of marriage, when the bride would reach her in-laws, she would befriend another woman there who would be her friend (kangan-saheli) or sister (dharam-behn) for life. It would be similar to god-friends or god-sisters. Their friendship would be sanctified through a small Hindu ceremony right during the marriage. The bride’s friend would usually be of the same age (or slightly older), married into the same village (so that she would not go away) and not directly related to her in-laws (so there was no conflict of interest later).Emotionally and psychologically, it would be very healthy and comforting for the bride to have her own ‘relative’ near her. Once the bride and this woman had become god-friends or god-sisters, they would recognize their relationship as such. They would treat each other like real sisters. During any issues later in life, involving even the husband or in-laws, these women would be able to confidently talk or seek help from each other. Moreover, the bride’s parents would treat her friend just like their own daughter. Thus Karva Chauth started as a festival to celebrate this special bond of friendship between the brides and their god-friends.
In 2017 Karwa Chauth is on 8th October which is the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in the Hindu month of Kartik.
Chaturthi Tithi Begins = 16:58 on 8/Oct/2017
Chaturthi Tithi Ends = 14:16 on 9/Oct/2017
The preparation for Karwa Chauth starts much before the day. Women buys traditional attire, shingar items, jewelry for themselves. They also purchase karwa (prominently earthen pot), sieve, matthi etc. for Puja.
One day before, women decorate their hands with beautiful henna designs. It is said that darker the color of the henna, the deeper the husband loves her. Next day, women wake up early. They eat and drink before sunrise. In Punjab, sargi is given by the mother in law or anyone elder in the home. Sargi is a Punjabi name of vermicelli kheer. However, now a days sargi is also given along with feni ( a sweet dish), matthi, shingar items, jewelry, clothes.When the day starts, the women folk spend decorating themselves. Newly wedded ladies wear their wedding apparels and look like brides. Women get themselves ready with beautiful attire and accessories. They wear new bangles. They observe fast from sunrise till moon rise. In the evening the ladies sit in circle and pass each other thali. Karwa Chauth story is being heard.Women worship the holy God Shiva and Goddess Parvati with ten earthen pots (Karwas) filled with sweets. After the completion of the ritual, these Karwas are distributed to daughters and sisters.
After the sighting of the Moon women to break their fast. Women see the moon through a sieve and then see their husbands through the sieve. After this, the husbands give their wife her first sip of water for the day and some sweet. It is also believed that the couple enjoys a prosperous married life that lasts for as many pores as there are in the sieve. It is also said that the ritual of looking at the husband through the sieve removes all the evil effects from him.Traditionally, a gift is given to daughter’s mother in law on her first karwa chauth which comprises of feeke maththis, dry fruits and gifts. The gift is also referred as “Baya”.
Happy Karwa Chauth!!