Karva Chauth 2015 - Festival for Married Woman
Karwa Chauth Significance and Rituals
Karva Chauth is one of the most important and awaited festivals for married women. This festival is celebrated mostly in North India, where married women keep fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and long life of their husbands. However, now women from other parts of the country also are seen keeping fasts for their husbands on this day because of the popularity of this festival through TV Serials and Movies. Sometimes even unmarried women keep fast for the sake of their fiances or desired husbands. This festival falls on the fourth day of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Kartik, 12 days before the Diwali festival. The word ‘karva’ refers to small earthen pot and the meaning of ‘chauth’ is fourth. Karwa Chauth symbolizes the love and devotion of a wife towards her husband. Sometimes even the men reciprocate by keeping the fast as a sign of their love and loyalty towards their women. Karwa Chauth fast is very special for newly married women who dress up in bridal attire on the day. Mother-in-laws or Mothers gift these women things that symbolize and reflect the marital status of a woman, such as jewelry, bangles, vermilion, henna, bindi etc on this special occasion. Karva Chauth for this year falls on the date 30th October, 2015 on Tuesday.
On the day of Karva Chauth, the woman wake up before sunrise, bathe and dress up in traditional attire. They then eat the food called sargi (prepared by the mother or mother in law) which consists of milk, fruits, khichdi etc before sunrise. After that the women do not eat or drink anything till the moon rise. On this day, the fasting women normally do not do any housework. They wear traditional attire mostly in auspicious colors like Red or Orange and decorate their hands with henna. They also decorate themselves using cosmetics and jewelry. Lord Shiva, Parvati and Kartikeya are worshiped on this day along with ten karvas. In the evening, the women sit in a circle with their puja thalis and listen to the story of karva chauth. They also sing the Karva Chauth puja song and pass their puja plates around in the circle. After this, the women wait eagerly for the moon rise to break their fasts. When the moon rises, the women perform an aarti ritual for their husbands and offer water to the moon god to seek blessings. After that they look at the moon through a sieve and then look at their husband’s face through the sieve. Once that is done, the husbands break the fasts of their wives by offering them water. The husband also feeds the woman her first morsel of the day after which the woman can eat her meal. The Husbands also normally give gifts like jewelry or clothes to their wives on the day. The women also touch the feet and seek blessings of the elderly ladies in the household like the mother in law on this day. If the husband is not available to break the fast of the woman, she breaks the fast by looking at the photograph of her husband.
Karva Chauth Story
There are many interesting stories and legends related to Karwa Chauth. One of the popular stories is that of Queen Veeravati who did her Karva Chauth fast for her husband at her parent’s house. Seeing the plight of the sister who is hungry and thirsty, her brothers created an illusion of moon rise. Veeravati mistook it as moon rise and broke her fast. After she broke the fast, the word came that her husband was dead. Heartbroken, she wept through the night. Goddess Parvati along with her husband Lord Shiva appears in front of Veeravati and reveals how she had been tricked by her brothers. Moved by the plight of the woman, the Goddess also gives few drops of blood from her small finger to the Queen to be sprinkled on the husband’s dead body to revive him.