‘Karwa Chauth‘ is a popular festival observed by Hindu married women in north and western India. Married women and nubile girls observe a day-long fast for the well being and prosperity of their husbands and end it only after spotting the moon through a sieve.
Celebrating Karva Chauth
That’s when their husbands’ offer them the first drop of water as a symbolic end to the day-long fast.
Celebrating Karva Chauth in a TV serial
The Karva Chauth legend…
Though there are several stories around this festival, the most popular is the story of Veeravati. A sister in seven brothers, Veeravati comes home to her parents’ home for observing Karwa Chauth ‘vrat’. As she fasted the whole day, it did have an adverse effect on the delicate Veeravati. Seeing their sister’s plight, the brothers devised a way of faking a moon before it was to appear by putting up a round mirror above the peepal tree.
As Veeravati broke the fast, the news arrived that her husband had died. A distressed Veeravati was inconsolable, weeping endlessly. Disturbed to see a devotee weep so badly, Goddess Shakti, appeared to her and told her that she had suffered as her brothers had faked the ritual.
Breaking Karva Chauth fast
Subsequently, Goddess Shakti asked Veeravati to fast again but this time to observe all rituals which Veeravati astutely followed and Yama was forced to restore her husband to life.
There’s yet another story, more popular south of the Vindhyas—one from the classical age. The story of Savitri and Satyavan, found in “The Book of the Forest” of the Mahabharata. The tale goes… that a devoted Savitri lived happily with her husband Satyavan till he was struck by disease and died. As Yama comes to get his soul, Savitri begs, weeps and pleads Yama to spare her husband’s soul.
Yama is helpless but as he carries away his body and soul, he asks her for a boon. A clever Savitri promptly asks him to bless her with children. Done, says Yama but as Savitri is a ‘pati-vrata nari’ she can not have children with anyone else other than her husband.
An indulgent Yama is forced to restore Satyavan back to life and thus secure victory for a devoted Savitri.
Karva Chauth Timing
Karva Chauth is observed on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Kartik (Oct-Nov), hence ‘Chauth’.
Karva Chauth photos ladies celebrating Karva Chauth
The ‘karwa’ is an earthen pot with a spout, a symbol of peace and prosperity — that is necessary for the rituals. Hence the name ‘Karwa Chauth’.
The Karva Chauth Ritual
Day begins early on Karwa Chauth with married women waking up before the crack of dawn and finishing their ablutions. Women wear new and festive clothes with reds and pinks dominating the colour spectrum. Shiva, Parvati and their son Kartikeya are worshiped on this day along with the 10 ‘karwas’ (earthen pots) filled with sweets. At the end of the fast, the ‘karwas’ are given to daughters and sisters.
Celebrating Karva Chauth in a TV serial Karva Chauth mehndi
The Karva Chauth Sargi…
On the day of Karva Chauth, women wake up before dawn and eat the traditional ‘sargi’. They apply henna (mehndi) on their palms the day before Karva Chauth. As they sit down to eat the Karva Chauth ‘sargi’, you can hear the tinkle of glass bangles, heads covered with a red or pink ‘dupatta’, and their foreheads smeared with ‘sindhoor’.
Bangles for Karva Chauth
Karva Chauth ‘sargi’ traditionally includes ‘pheni’ (rice vermicelli cooked in milk), sweets, almonds, coconut, water, ‘paratha’ and vegetables. It is actually a simple way of preparing the body for a day long fast. After the Karva Chauth ‘sargi’, they abstain from food and water till moon rise.
Bollywood celebs celebrating Karva Chauth
Note: Karva Chauth date this year is 15 October 2011 Saturday