Karva Chauth is celebrated in Northern India on a huge scale by the Indian women. It is a day long festival which is noted with extreme enthusiasm and passion. A ritual of fasting the whole day is observed on the day of Karwa Chauth which is known as Karwa Chauth Vrat or Karva Chauth Fasting. On this day married women keep a strict fast from sunrise to moonrise to ensure the safety and longevity of their husband’s life. Karwa Chauth is celebrated highly in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The festival of Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day of the fading moon fortnight which is also known as Krishna Paksha. Karwa Chauth falls in the Kartik month as per the Hindu Calendar. On this auspicious occasion of Karwa Chauth, unmarried young women also keep fast for their fiance or desired husband. The name may differ as per the state for Karwa Chauth, but the significance and traditions followed during the festival remains the same.
Karwa Chauth often coincides with Sankashti Chaturthi which is a fasting day observed for Lord Ganesha. On this day, married women worship Lord Shiva to seek longevity of their husband. Lord Shiva along with family, including Lord Ganesha is revered on this day and the fast ends after sighting the moon. Once the Moon rises, offerings are made to the Moon. The fasting is observed very strictly and not even a single bite of food or a drop of water can be consumed until the moon rises.
Karwa Chauth is also popularly called Karak Chaturthi. Karak or Karwa refers to the earthen pot through which the water is offered to the Moon. The water offering to the Moon is known as Argha. Karak is very important to during the Karva Chauth Puja and it is also given as daan to the Brahmins or to any eligible woman.
HISTORY OF KARWA CHAUTH
Karwa Chauth is made up of two words; ‘Karwa’ which means earthen oil lamp and ‘Chauth’ which means four. Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day of the Kartik month in the Hindu Calendar. This is a very popular time of the year where friends and family get together to celebrate and meet the festival. The festival of Diwali is celebrated after nine days of Karwa Chauth. Karwa Chauth was initially used to celebrate the alliance between the bride and her in-laws, but with time the ritual has changed. Nowadays Karwa Chauth is celebrated to seek blessings from the Almighty for husband’s long life and beneficial health.
As compared to the Southern India, Karwa Chauth Fasting is more popular in the North. After the four day span of Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami is celebrated for the well being and longevity of sons. Even though the original meaning of Karwa Chauth has changed with time from what it used to be but still the ritual of having a day long fast is followed with utmost enthusiasm and passion among the Indian women for the long life of their husband.
The History of Karwa Chauth is drawn backward to the ancient times. It is believed that Karwa Chauth was celebrated to cherish the bond between the bride and the women in her family. Now, whatever the Karwa Chauth Story says, it is now celebrated with amazing passion and is considered as one of the most auspicious occasions to cherish. The festival certainly reinforces the bond of love, both between the wedded and committed couples. Thus, it is seen as one of the most wonderful and special occasions for the couples.
HOW TO CELEBRATE KARWA CHAUTH
The Karwa Chauth day is celebrated mostly amongst the North Indian Community both in India and people settled in abroad as well. The most significant thing to follow on Karwa Chauth day is the day long Karwa Chauth Fast which begins at the sunrise and ends with moonrise. The Karwa Chauth Vrat can only be given out once the moon is sighted by the women and offerings are made. The Karwa Chauth Fasting is very unique as nowhere in the world a woman goes without eating or drinking throughout the day to pray for the longevity of the husband.
Sargi is one of the most significant components on the Karwa Chauth Day. Sargi is a special meal prepared which is eaten before the sunrise. It usually includes seviyan or vermicelli which are prepared by the mother-in-law for the daughter-in-law. According to the Hindu custom, married women do not involve in any kind of household activity during the festivity of Karwa Chauth. Henna (Mehndi) ceremony is performed along the day of Karwa Chauth by the married women. This day is completely dedicated to the husbands by their respective wives.
Shringar (adornment) is seen as one of the most important factors of this day. Precious jewelry and bangles are worn by the married women, which represent their marital status. The day of Karwa Chauth is also celebrated as the get together between the friends and relatives.
KARWA CHAUTH SANKALP
After the morning bath on the day of Karwa Chauth, women are said to take a pledge which is also referred as Sankalp. Karwa Chauth Sankalp is taken for well being of the husband and the household. One important thing which is recounted during the Sankalpa is that the fast will be done without consuming any food and water and it concludes with the sighting of moon.
mPanchang wishes you a Happy Karwa Chauth 2017. List of all the Festivals & Vrat is provided here with their complete details.