‘Karwa Chauth’ is an auspicious and one of the most important festival being celebrated by the Hindus all around the world. The term ‘Chauth’ means the ‘fourth day’ and ‘Karwa’ is an earthen pot with a spout, a symbol of peace and prosperity.
It is popular in the northern and western parts of India, especially, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. On falls on the forth (Chauth) day of kartik month (October – November) as per Hindu calendar i.e; nine days before Diwali.
Karva Chauth Vrata Fast Procedure & Rituals Performed :
On the day of ‘Karwa Chauth’ married women keep fast of the long and healthy lives of their husbands. It is the most important and difficult fast observed by married Hindu women. This fast is so strict that the women observing it do not have even a drop of water. The fast is broken once the moon is sighted and rituals of the day have been performed. At night when the moon appears, women break their fast after offering water to the moon.
Preparations and celebration for Karva Chauth begins in advance, by buying cosmetics, jewelry puja items, such as the karwa lamps, matthi, henna and puja plate and applying henna or mehendi. On the day of the festival, married women wake up early in the morning before the sun rises, cover their heads with pink or maroon or red duppatta and pray for the long lives of their husbands, and wear new and festive raiment and eat and drink just before sunrise as the fast begins with dawn. Shiva, Parvati and their son Kartikeya are worshiped on this day along with the 10 ‘karwas’ (earthen pots) filled with sweets. The Karwas are given to daughters and sisters along with gifts.
In the morning women prepare for their evening puja by decorating their thali. In the evening, women dress up in special red or maroon or pink clothes with all the matching jewellery, bangles and do the traditional shringar and dress up beautifully like bride. Fasting women from all over the neighborhood gather in a group and narrate mythological stories that underscore the significance of Karwa Chauth. For the evening puja of Karva Chauth the married women again gather before sunset between 4pm and 5pm where according to the tradition a two -inch tall idol of Goddess Gauri is made using wheat flour and the ladies sit in a huge circle encircling the idol. Ladies sing the Karva Chauth song and pass their thalis around and listen to the Karva Chauth story.
Once the moon is sighted by one of the family members women carry their puja thali and a sieve and see the moon through this sieve and offer rice and water to the moon praying for the long life of their husbands after which they break their fast by drinking water. Once the fast is broken sweets are eaten to celebrate the successful culmination of the fast and then the feast begins.
Elders of the family give gift and blessings of long and happy married life, to their daugthers and daugther-in-laws. In some regions the mothers-in-law of the women obsreving fast, give a scrumptious meal traditionally known as sargi which comprises of eatables like vermicelli garnished with dry fruits, sweets, mathri (snacks), fruit and a piece of coconut.
Karva Chauth 2016 Date :
In India, in 2016 Karva Chauth will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.