How is Karva Chauth celebrated?
Nowadays Karva Chauth has become a community festival. The festivities can be noticed a week before the festival. The markets are full of items which are needed for the Karva Chauth Festival.
The Day of Karva Chauth begins with the women getting up before sunrise and worships Goddess Parvati, God Shiva, Kartikeya, Ganesh and the moon 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. Many times, newly wed wear their wedding dress, typically the ghagra-choli or Banarsi sarees, embroidered with shimmer of gold, rubies and diamonds. After dressing up, the newly weds receive gifts from their mother-in-law. The married woman also receives the baya or a basket of goodies from her mother, which is meant for the mother-in-law. It contains sweets, mathadi, fruits and a sari.
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. After this the wait for the moon to rise begins.
As soon as the moon is sighted, prayers are offered to the moon; women then observe the moon through a sieve and then break their fast. The first sip of water and the first morsel of food are offered by the husband. The husbands then offer them gifts and a sumptuous dinner is followed.
Modern culture and Karva Chauth
The modern Indian society considers Karva Chauth as a romantic festival, symbolizing the love between a wife and her husband. The modern cinema has often highlighted this festival as a symbol of love between the hero and the heroine of the movie. Famous Bollywood movies such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Baghban portray the festival of Karva Chauth and the love between an unmarried and an elderly married couple. Similar to Valentine's Day, the lack of partner can sometimes be felt by single women. The festival is used also extensively in advertising campaigns.
The Karva Chauth is seen as an event that bonds women together. Nowadays, even groups of unmarried women sometimes keep the fast together out of friendship, though it is not that common. Sometimes even husbands also keep a fast secretly out of love and compassion for their wives. Recently, Karva Chauth has turned into a full-fledged event as Halwais, Mehendi and Churi walas have been joined by the modern beauty parlor owners, event managers and restaurants.
Special eateries gear up for the occasion as "eating out" is becoming quite popular and restaurants come up with special menus for this day. Special events are organized with various stalls, Tambola games and even a dance competition. With modern times the festival has added much fun to fasting.
Last Updated on : 16/09/2013