Karwa Chauth or Karva Chauth is a one-day sacred festival celebrated annually by women in the northern and western parts of India, particularly in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh. This day roughly falls anytime between October/November or in the Kartika month according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar. Karwa Chauth falls on the fourth day after the full moon.
Celebrating Karwa Chauth
The Word Karwa Chauth is essentially a combination of two words, ‘Karwa’ which means pot, and ‘Chauth’ which translates to fourth. The Earthen Pot holds great significance as it is used by women to offer water to the moon as part of the ritual. The starting of festival is said to have begun during times of war when women started praying for the safe return of their husbands. It is also said that the festival began to be celebrated to mark the end of the harvest season. Whatever the origin might be, the festival has offered an occasion to strengthen familial bonds.
During the festival, women keep nirjala fast, during which they neither eat nor drink and offer prayer to goddess Gauri, an incarnation of goddess Parvati., who bestows blessings for a happy and long married life.
On Karwa Chauth married women observe fast for the safety and longevity of their husbands, while unmarried women observe fast in the hope of securing a desired life partner.
In contemporary times, husbands have also started keeping fasts for their wives.
Significance of Karwa Chauth
Karwa Chauth is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in India. Thanks to Bollywood, the Festival of Karwa Chauth is not only limited to Northern and Western parts of India but is now glamorized and popularized throughout the country. The significance of this festival lies in the fact that it is a celebration of love, marriage, and the unbreakable bond shared between husband and wife.
Since Karwa Chauth is celebrated primarily by women, beauty rituals and dressing up is a significant part of the day, and the festival is seen as an occasion to strengthen and celebrate feminine friendships. Are you looking for Karwa Chauth Sarees online to gift your friends and loved ones?
Rituals & Traditions
Women begin preparing for Karwa Chauth a few days in advance, by buying outfits, adornments, jewelry, and puja items, such as karwa lamps, matthi, pooja thali, and mehndi.
Local Bazaars put Karwa Chauth-related items on display. Women choose to wear Karwa Chauth special sarees and Salwar suits to look their best. In some regions, women wear traditional sarees of their states, such as Banarasi Silk Sarees, kanjivaram (Kanchipuram) Sarees, Assamese silk Sarees, and so on. Check Out the latest collection of traditional ethnic sarees at iraah.store
There are various kinds of rituals observed in different states throughout the country. In Uttar Pradesh, women eat soot feni with sweet milk on the eve of the festival which helps them go without water the next day. Whereas in Punjab, on the day of karwa chauth, Women wake up to eat and drink just before sunrise. Sargi which is sent to the fasting women by their mother-in-law is important for this pre-dawn meal.
In Traditional observances, the women do no household chores on the day of Karwa Chauth. Women apply mehndi on their hands and in some cases, feet too, and apply other cosmetics on themselves and each other. The day passes by meeting relatives and friends and preparing for the evening rituals.
In some regions, it is a customary practice to exchange hand-painted and decorated earthen pots filled with bangles, ribbons, sweets, and a small piece of clothing. Parents of the married daughter often send gifts to them and their children.
In the evening, a community ceremony having only women in presence is held at an open ground where women dressed in their special attires sit in circles with their pooja thalis, and depending upon the customs of their regions and community, a version of the story of Karwa Chauth is narrated to them. The narrator is usually a priest or an elderly woman. The Karwa Chauth pooja song is sung collectively.
In some parts of Uttar Pradesh, the women pass on their pooja thalis in a circle, this practice is known as feris. While in some areas, women keep rice in their hands while the story is being narrated.
After the women complete their fera rituals, they await the rising of the moon. Once the moon is visible, the women view the moon or its reflection through a vessel filled with water a sieve, and then look at their husband with the same sieve.
After this, water is offered to the moon to seek the Moon God’s blessings.
Her husband then takes the water from the pooja thali and offers it to his wife; taking her first sip of water during the day, her fast is broken. Now the woman can have A Complete meal.
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