About Karva Chauth
|Main Attraction||The puja process and rituals are the main attractions of Karva Chauth.|
Karva Chauth is a one-day festival which is celebrated annually by Hindu women in North India. In this festival the married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and long life of their husbands. The festival is celebrated in the northern states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The festival is observed on the fourth day of the fading moon fortnight also known as the 'Krishna paksha' in the month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar. At times unmarried women also keep the fast for their fiances or desired husbands.
The festivals origin is uncertain and how it came to be celebrated only in the northwestern part of the India us also not clear. There are many hypotheses for the origin of this festival. The first one is that during these months of October and November, military campaigns and long-distance travel usually resumed, as the areas dried and many rivers of the region subsided from the effects of the monsoon. Women kept the fast to pray for their husband's safety as they ventured away from home.
The festival also concurs with the wheat-sowing time. Big earthen pots called karvas were used to store wheat, so the fast may also have originated as a prayer for good harvest. The festival of Karwa Chauth also renews and celebrates the relationship between the married woman and god-friends (god-sisters). It was noted as a social and cultural significance for woman.
The festivities can be noticed a few days before the festival, markets are full of items needed for the Karva Chauth Festival. Preparations start a week in advance. Women decorate their hands with intricate mehendi designs, appointments with beauty parlors are madejewellery and cloth merchants also do a good business as men give their wives gifts as jewellery or sarees.
The Day begins with the women getting up before sunrise and worship the Gods for longevity and prosperity of their husbands and children. Mothers-in-laws give their daughters-in-laws sumptuous food called 'Sargi'. They have to eat it before sunrise, as the fast starts before sunrise. The fast is tough, as women do not take any food or water.
In the evening, women cherish the joy of dressing up in adorning fine clothes. They receive the baya or a basket full of goodies. Before sun set, most of the women in a locality gather at one place and do a puja and the rituals associated with the puja. They pray for the long life and safety of their husbands. While chanting prayers, they pass their bayas from one to another.
Last Updated on : January 3, 2014