Karwa Chauth is a Hindu festival celebrated by married women across the country. It falls on the fourth day after the full moon in the month of Kartik, which is November 1 this year. On this day, women observe a strict fast from dawn to moonrise and pray for the long lives of their husbands. They also dress up in new traditional clothes, apply henna on their hands, and perform rituals like sighting the moon through a sieve.
How is Karwa Chauth celebrated?
The fast begins with a pre-dawn meal called Sargi, which women receive from their mother-in-law. It consists of bridal essentials, idols of gods and goddesses, sweets, and savouries. After consuming Sargi, women abstain from food and water for about 13 hours. They also chant prayers and pass around earthen pots or Karvas among themselves as a part of the Karwa Chauth ritual. In the evening, they worship Karva Mata, Maa Parvati, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. After watching the moon from a sieve, they offer water or Arghaya to the moon and break the fast by eating a bite of food and a sip of water from their husband’s hands.
Why is Karwa Chauth observed?
According to legend, Karwa Chauth was first observed by a woman named Veeravati, who was married to a king. She loved her husband dearly and wanted him to live long. However, her brothers tricked her into breaking her fast before moonrise by lighting a lamp and making her believe that it was the moon. As soon as she ate, her husband died. She then prayed to Goddess Parvati, who revived her husband on the condition that she would observe Karwa Chauth every year with full devotion.
What are some tips to make Karwa Chauth special?
Some tips to make Karwa Chauth special are:
- Prepare Sargi with love and care and include healthy and nutritious items like dry fruits, coconuts, vermicelli, and fruits.
- Apply henna on your hands and feet with intricate designs and patterns. You can also use natural ingredients like sugar and lemon juice or essential oils to make your henna darker and long-lasting.
- Wear new traditional clothes in red or pink colour, which symbolize love and happiness. You can also accessorize with jewellery, bangles, bindi, sindoor, etc.
- Decorate your puja thali with flowers, diyas, roli, chawal, sweets, etc. You can also make your own Karva or earthen pot with clay or paint.
- Exchange gifts with your husband and express your love and gratitude for him. You can also surprise him with a romantic dinner or a personalized card or message.