Indian Hindu Festival - Karva Chauth (2016) - A Festival Of Hindu Married Women

Karva Chauth Date 2016

Karva Chauth this year is on 19th October 2016.

Observing the moon through a sieve
Observing the moon through a sieve | Source

About Kar va Chauth

Karva Chauth is a one day ritual that is observed by married Hindu women and some Sikh women, which they observe for the safety and long life of their husband. Today, it has become a practice for even women and girls who are engaged observe Karva Chauth. Even unmarried girls are observing this ritual so that they can get a good husband.

The celebration of this ritual involves keeping a full day fast, from sunrise to moonrise. The fast is broken only after the moon is seen by those fasting.

Kar va is the word for a diya or an earthern lamp and chauth means fourth and it refers to the festival falling on the fourth day of the dark fortnight (called krishna paksh in Hindi) of the month of Kartik.

The festival comes nine days before Diwali and on the fourth day of the new moon immediately after Dussehra in the month of October or November.
The date of the Karva Chauth festival is derived from the lunar calendar like the dates for all Hindu festivals.

Kar va Chauth is celebrated primarily in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in India but is also celebrated by Hindu married women whichever state they may be living in.

mehndi (henna) application on the occasion of karva chauth
mehndi (henna) application on the occasion of karva chauth | Source

Rituals During Karva Chauth

Preparations for this festival begin some days before the actual day. Women buy cosmetics, jewellery, clothes and items for puja like karva (earthern lamps), henna and the decorated puja thali (plate).

The dresses or clothes worn on this day are traditionally Indian and are mainly in colors of red, pink, orange and gold since these colors are considered auspicious colors. Henna in various intricate designs is applied on the hands, forearms and feet.

Women get up early in the morning before sunrise and have a bath and wear new clothes. Then, fruits, sweets, feni in sweet milk are consumed. It is a practice to eat and drink before the sun rises on this day. Interestingly many husbands and children too get up and join in partaking of sargi (the food that is consumed on this day at this time). I have been one of those who participated when my mom used to keep this fast.

No food or drink, not even water, is consumed during the day, by those fasting. Also doing any work, even household work is avoided on this day. It is a practice to go and meet friends and relatives.

Images During Karva Chauth Story Telling

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Video On Karva Rituals

In the evening, women sit together with their puja thalis and sing traditional songs collectively. The story of Karva Chauth is narrated usually by an older woman or a priest if there is one sitting in the center while the women sit around in a circle. In between pauses, the puja thalis are passed around by the women sitting in a circle.

The Kar va Chauth story is associated with several tales of women whi went to the extent of even sacrificing their life to save their husband's life.

On the completion of this ritual, these women wait for the moon to rise. They are not supposed to look at the moon so this is conveyed to them and it is customary for the woman on fast to view its reflection in a vessel filled with water but through a sieve or a fine cloth, usually a dupatta. The husband this while is close by. Then she offers water to the moon and prays for her husbands long life.

The woman then views her husband's face through the sieve or dupatta. Now the husband offers her a sip of water from the thali and then proceeds to give her the day's first morsel of food which is usually is in a sweet form. With this the fast is broken and then a complete meal is taken,

Husbands on this occasion gift their wives new clothes or jewellery. Men are not supposed to keep the Kar va Chauth fast.

Legends Associated With Karva Chauth

  • Legend Of Kar va

Kar va was a very devoted wife. because of her intense devotion she developed spiritual powers. Once when her husband was having bath in the river a crocodile caught him. Karva bound the crocodile with cotton yarn and asked Yama, the God of death to send the coocodile to hell.

When Yama refused to do so, Kar va threatened to curse him. Fearful of the effective and destructive curse of a devoted wife, Yama sent the crocodile to hell and blessed Karva's husband with a long life.

  • Story Of Satyavan And Savitri

When Yama came to take away Satyavan, savitri his wife pleaded with Yama not to take his life. When Yama refused she stopped eating and drinking and started following Yama who was carrying her dead husband. Yama asked her to ask for any boon other than bringing her husband back to life.

Savitri then asked to be blessed ith children. Yama agreed. As Savitri was a devoted wife, Yama had no choice but to restore Satyavan to life as Savithri would not allow any other man to be the father of her children.

  • Story Of Queen Veervati

Queen Veervati had 7 brothers. Her first Karva Chauth after her marriage was at her parent's home. She started her fast but by evening she felt very thirsty and hungry. Her brothers could not bear to see their sister in distress. so they managed to trick her into believing that the moon had risen. As soon as Veervati broke her fast than she got the news that her husband, the king was dead.

Grief stricken she wept through the night. Seeing her plight, a Goddess appeared and asked her the reason for her grief. When Veervati explained the Goddess told her that she had been tricked by her brothers and asked her to repeat the Karva Chauth fast with full devotion.

When Veervati completed the fast successfully Yama the God of death restored her husband to life.

Karva Chauth In Mahabharata

When Pandavas faced many problems Draupadi their wife was advised by Lord Krishna to keep Kar va Chauth fast observing all rituals. When she did this, the problems the Pandavas faced were resolved.

All dividers in this hub are courtesy :

The Video Shows Some Rituals Of Karva Chauth

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Comments 43 comments

Karishma 4 years ago

Too good!!!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks karishma.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Fascinating once again! You are helping to raise awareness about your culture, and in so doing you are bringing us all closer through understanding. Well done my friend; I appreciate your hubs very much.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Bill. I appreciate your comments from my heart. Thanks again.

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I love the stories. And what an interesting ritual. The women get to socialize and meet with friends but cannot eat. I wonder how that came about. I love reading about different lands and different ways of living and you always provide me with that. Voted UP++++++

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

fascinating hub ! I have never read a hub about hindus festival like yrs ! Very interesting and I just gained some knowledge about this festival. Voted u and awesome.

Jennifer Essary profile image

Jennifer Essary 4 years ago from Idaho

I love hearing about other cultures and their holidays. Thank you for sharing : )

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Carol - I'm glad you like the stories behind these festivals. Thanks for your continued support.

@ peachpurple - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the history of the festival.

@ Jennifer - I'm glad you like learning about different cultures. Nice to see you again.

ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

A well-written hub! I have seen this festival in Hindi movies & tv-serials. I found this festival beautiful. I have not heard of legends associated with this festival except Savitri till now thanks to you!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up & shared

stayingalivemoma profile image

stayingalivemoma 4 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

I love this hub and already have a love of Hindu people and Hinduism. I enjoyed reading the stories and learned quite a bit from this hub. Keep up the good work and I will be reading more!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Ishwaryaa - good to know you know about this festival. The legend about Savitri is the most known. Thanks for reading and voting and of course sharing. It is always a pleasure to see you. Thank you.

@ stayingalivemomma - I'm glad you appreciate Hinduism. Thanks for letting me know you like the information in this hub. I appreciate your visit and comments with all my heart. Thank you.

PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Hi rajan jolly,

I was enthralled from the initial words. I did reports in elementary school on Hinduism, but I do not remember anything like your hub.

I enjoyed this and now I have learned something new. Thanks for your great writing skills in always teaching us something new.


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

Another very interesting hub on an Indian Festival. I would love to prepare for it and shop for new clothes and jewelry:) Is there an Indian festival where men pray for the long lives of women? I love learning about other cultures so appreciate your hubs. Voted up and shared!

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Rajan Jolly, I love this Hub. I have a CD about Savitri and listen to it very often. It is over ten years old now and I adore it as much as the first day I got it. Thanks for a lovely, lovely Hub.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ PurvisBobbi - I'm glad you learnt something new from this information. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it very much.

@ healthylife - No, I'm afraid there is no such festival. However many men these days keep a fast along with their wives, breaking a bit of the tradition. I'm glad to see you read these hubs regularly. Many thanks for sharing it too.

@ Hyphenbird -Wow this is news! I would have thought it would be so without your feedback. Glad you are aware of the story of Savitri. Many thanks for visiting and appreciating the hub.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A greay sharer ;so well infomred and tresented. Have a wonderful day and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

What a lovely festival. I often watch on TV a lot of Indian festivals, they are so beautiful and the colors of the costumes and the rituals are amazing, lovely hub rajan, voted up! nell

ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I enjoy reading your hubs about the ceremonies. You outline the tradition well my friend. Vote up, interesting and useful. Share as well.

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

This is very interesting. I always enjoy learning about different cultures. Excellent hub, vote up and interesting! :)

GoingOnline profile image

GoingOnline 4 years ago

Really interesting, is a beautiful tradition I didn't know about :) Great hub!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Eiddwen - Thanks for appreciating.

@ Nell - Nice to hear that. I'm glad you liked this festival hub. Thanks for reading and voting.

@ Christy - thanks for reading, voting and sharing. I'm glad you like these festival hubs.

@ Sheila - Good to know you like these hubs. Appreciate the votes and your visit.

@ GoingOnline - Appreciate the visit. Thank you.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

You always provide us with good information and educate on us on the ways of your people. Thank you for this beautiful hub giving yet again information on your culture!

Voted up, useful, and interesting!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Mary,

I'm glad you like this festival information. Thanks for stopping by.

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

You guys seem to have a festival for every god and every population! I love the henna tattoos. Voting this Up and Interesting.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Yes, we have a people from a lot of religions in our country so we celebrate all festival here. It really is a great thing to be able to do so. Glad you like the henna designs. They are akin to a tattoo but temporary. Thanks for reading the hub, Aurelio.

sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

This is a very important festival for the married Hindu ladies. The looking through sieve is more prevalent in I think Bombay side and made famous by our movies. My mom says she never saw anyone do it till girls started coping the heroines. But on the whole this is a symbol of Hindu girls love and sacrifice for their husbands. Very nicely written hub.

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Thailand

Sounds like a unique, colorful and vibrant festival (at the end). Maybe one day I will get to see it. Liked the different stories for where it came from.

Shared, up, interesting, and tweeted.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ sweetie - glad you like the festival info. Thanks for visiting.

@ Brett - I do hope so. Appreciate the visit and sharing.

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

I am not a Hindu but I have great interest in other religions, so, I found this terrifically interesting. Up and shared. Thanks so much!

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

It is always so fascinating to learn about other cultures. Karva Chauth reminds me of stag or hen parties, bachelorette parties in the U.S and Britain. Thanks for sharing!

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Karva Chauth is not substantially celebrated in Nepal, however, similar kind of festival is marked by Hindu women called Teej, which falls in the Hindu month of Bhadra.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Justin - Glad to know you found the info interesting. Thanks so much for giving it a read and sharing.

@ rebecca - Thanks for your input. Nice to see you.

@ Vinaya - yes it is similar to teej which is also celebrated in Haryana and Rajasthan in India and Nepal, but karva chauth is widely celebrated all over India including the two states mentioned above.

Thanks for reading.

dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi Rajan

Marriage is celebrated and respected in many societies through dances and rituals. I would like to attend Karva Chauth Hindu ritual and see for myself how it is done. Voted up, useful and sharing.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Danson, I'm glad you like the festival info. This festival is unique in that it is a celebration for the safety of the husband.

Thanks for the visit, votes and sharing.

careertips profile image

careertips 4 years ago from India

A large number of festivals are celebrated all over India. Carva Chouth is one of them. It really provides a good opportunity for husband and wife to come together and share their happiest moment of life..

Happy Carva Chauth to all women who love their husbands !!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a nice sounding festival. The legends related to this particular festival are very interesting. I especially liked the legend related to the story Of Satyavan And Savitri. That was a smart (boon) request! Thanks again for introducing many of us who are unfamiliar with Hindu customs another bit of interesting information. Up votes and sharing.

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Great read, Rajan. Loved to read your perspective.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Peggy - I'm glad to be sharing some Hindu customs and rituals through my hubs and also I have always wanted to learn about different celebrations and traditions to get a better insight into other cultures. Hubpages is a fine platform to do so. Glad you liked the info. Thanks for sharing it too.

@ Ruchira - thanks for stopping by.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I've seen references to this custom in Bollywood movies, but did not completely understand them. Thanks for this lesson. Voted up.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Millionaire tips, I do hope you feel better after understanding what this custom is all about. Thanks for the compliments and the visit.

radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

Yesterday was our traditional festival 'Noimbu' based on the legend of Satyavan & Savitri. We make the sweet 'Adai' and tie sacred knots praying for the well-being of husband.

Voted up, beautiful and awesome. Shared as well.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for sharing this info about your festival 'Noimbu' and thanks also for reading this hub, giving votes and sharing.

sukhneet profile image

sukhneet 11 months ago from India

What an informative article. I am well-aware of the rituals and enjoyed reading it. Though, I don't do Karwachauth, but love the festive atmosphere of Delhi during Karwachauth.

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