Karwa Chauth is an important Hindu fasting festival for married women. 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. It is also known as Karva Chauth and Karaka Chaturthi. On this day, Married women perform fast from sunrise to moonrise for the wellness and long life of their husbands. Unmarried girls also celebrate this festival for the sake of getting the desired life partner.
Karwa Chauth Date and Muhurat
Karwa Chauth festival is widely celebrated by married women of India and most commonly celebrated in Northern India. It falls 4 days after the full moon day (Sharad Purnima). In 2021 Karwa Chauth falls on Sunday, 24 October; which is the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in the Hindu month of Kartik.
Puja Muhurat, Fasting Time and Moon-rise Time
The puja timing depends on the timing of the moon rise. Hence, in different locations, its puja timing may vary.
Muhurat In Delhi (Approx.)
Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat – 05:43 PM to 06:59 PM
Duration – 01 Hour 17 Min
Karwa Chauth Upavasa Time – 06:27 AM to 08:07 PM
Duration – 13 Hours 40 Min
Moonrise on Karwa Chauth Day – 08:07 PM
Muhurat In Mumbai (Approx.)
Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat – 06:09 PM to 07:24 PM
Duration – 01 Hour 15 Min
Karwa Chauth Upavasa Time – 06:36 AM to 08:46 PM
Duration – 14 Hours 11 Mins
Moonrise on Karwa Chauth Day – 08:46 PM
Muhurat In Ahmedabad (Approx.)
Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat – 06:07 PM to 07:22 PM
Duration – 01 Hour 15 Mins
Karwa Chauth Upavasa Time – 06:40 AM to 08:39 PM
Duration – 13 Hours 59 Mins
Moonrise on Karwa Chauth Day – 08:39 PM
To know accurate moonrise time in your location; you can visit Drikpanchang
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Karwa Chauth Story (Katha)
There are many legends of the Karwa Chauth festival. Here is some must known stories of Karwa Chauth. Among them the story of queen Veeravati is most prominent.
Legend of Queen Veeravati
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 moonrise. 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 this vrat carefully.
Another Karwa Chauth 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 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 Karwa Chauth started as a festival to celebrate this special bond of friendship between the brides and their god-friends.
Important Rituals of Karwa Chauth
Karwa Chauth Mehndi
Applying Henna in their pretty hands is something they can not skip in Karwa Chauth. In Hindu tradition, it is said that applying Henna during vrat enhances longevity, brings in spiritual enlightenment and intensifies fertility of husbands. Howbeit, these art forms of Mehndi verily depend upon the states they belong, culture they follow, region they are into and their personal choices as well as the time they have. Here is some prodigious Mehndi designs.
Karwa Chauth Sargi
Sargi is the very first ritual performed early in the morning before sunrise. Gulping every edible stuff of a special Thali- holding different types of foods and cuisines is a must-do ritual to remain fit and energetic during the day till sunset. As they cannot even have a sip of liquid after sunrise and can only break their fasts after peeking the moon, subsequent to the Karwa Chauth traditions.
Karwa Chauth Baya
In some regions, there is a ritual, conducted by mother-in-laws (saas) of sending a unique gift (Click here for Gifts) to their daughter-in-law (bahu) on this notable Hindu festival. This can either be an exquisite Thali containing 16 stuffs (solah-shringar) or a token of love (care) through money or sweets.
Karwa Chauth Shringar
However, fasting ritual is considered the toughest among all these ceremonial rituals because a lady cannot even gulp a single drop of water in the course of Karwa Chauth fasting till moonrise. Hence, the only way to get stressed out is to think more about looking bonzer (attractive) by beautifying yourself differently with Solah Shringar.
Narration of vrat Katha
Prior to Karwa Chauth puja, the foremost or the eldest married lady tells the fasting story (vrat Katha) to the folks present there in the vicinity, followed by a couple of solemn rituals and traditional ceremonies.
Sieving moon in the evening
The Custom of catching a glimpse of the moon is a mandatory ceremony while performing rituals during the moon-rise. The fasting lady takes a quick glance of the shining moon for the long life and prosperity of her husband.
Breaking the fast and exchanging gifts
Being one of the hardest fasts after the wedding, it does not even allow women to eat (and drink), the whole day. Therefore, they crave for breaking it to have their self-made fingerlings food only after performing all the rituals and taking a glance to the moon with the strainer. They also await their loving husbands to gesture them with a gift, eventually. Here are some special gift ideas.
Karwa Chauth Vrat Vidhi & Rituals
It is not only a fasting festival. Lots of beautiful customs and rituals are associated with it. Its preparation starts much before the day. Women buy 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 the darker the color of the henna, the deeper the husband loves her. Karwa Chauth Mehndi is considered auspicious; as it symbolizes prosperity and good luck.
On Karwa Chauth, women wake up early. They eat and drink before sunrise. Sargi is given by the mother in law or anyone elder in the home. It 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. The women observes first Karwa Chauth; 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 moonrise. 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”.
Step by step Vrat Vidhi
- In the morning, retire from routine work and take resolution and start the fast.
- Do not take refreshments on the day of fasting.
- After taking bath in the morning on the day of fasting, start this Karwa Chauth fast by saying this resolution-
- At the time of worship in the morning, the fast is started with the chanting of this mantra – ‘मम सुखसौभाग्य पुत्रपौत्रादि सुस्थिर श्री प्राप्तये करक चतुर्थी व्रतमहं करिष्ये।’
- Grind the rice by making a plaque from the other on the wall of the temple of the house. Then get this solution done. This ritual is called karwa dharna.
- In the evening, sitting in the lap of the statue of Maa Parvati, Sriganesh was seated and placed on a wooden pedestal.
- Adorn the beauty of Maa Parvati with ingredients etc.
- Worship Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati and worship them by filling water in the Kore Karve.
- Luckily women fasting for the whole day and listen to the story of the fast.
- Take food and water by your husband only after seeing the moon in the evening.
- Husband, the mother-in-law, take the blessings of everyone and end the fast.
Significance of Karwa Chauth
Karwa Chauth is observed to celebrate the friendship, sisterhood and togetherness. Historically, this festival was celebrated as a prayer for the long life of soldiers in the war, and by extension today refers to the long life of a married husband. Apart from this beautiful fasting festival has many significance. It symbolizes Love and Relationship; not only between husband and wife but also with other members of the family. It identifies the importance of a married women in her sasural (in-laws house). Unlike other vrats; Karwa Chauth vrat is a celebration for a married women; to showcase her love and dedication towards her life partner. Unmarried girls observe this festival for the sake of getting the desired life partner.
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