Karva Chauth is celebrated by the married women of North India. It is celebrated nine days before Diwali, on the fourth day of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Kartik, around October-November. The festival marks an auspicious fast observed by married women for long life, well being and prosperity of their husband. The women strictly adhere to the guidelines laid down for the fast and refrain from food and water for one complete day. The festival also provides an opportunity for socializing with family, relatives, friends and in-laws. Karva Chauth is symbolic of unflagging loyalty of a wife towards her husband.
Karva Chauth Legends
Though the essence of the festival remains the same, the particular customs and rituals may vary a bit. Karva Chauth has several legends attached to it. It has a strong story dating back to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi used to observe this fast after her marriage. It so happened that once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance and in his absence, the rest of the Pandavas faced many problems. Draupadi asked Krishna for help and Lord Krishna advised him to observe the fast of Karwa Chauth, similar to Parvati’s fast for Lord Shiva.
Karva Chauth Rituals
The festival of Karva Chauth is celebrated by following a number of rituals as per the Hindu culture and traditions. Application Of Henna is one of them. It is considered auspicious for the married woman and forms a mandatory part of Karva Chauth rituals. Fasting is another important part of the celebrations of Karwa Chauth. After having the scrumptious meal called ‘sargi’ in the pre-dawn time, women observe a one-day fast for Karva Chauth. As a part of the traditions, married women adorn themselves with beautiful dresses and jewelry, on Karva Chauth. The chosen color for the dress is either red or maroon as these colors are considered auspicious for married women. One of the important traditions of Karwa Chauth is puja. Mata Gouri is worshiped on this day. As a part of the tradition, a two-inch tall idol of Goddess Gauri is made using cow dung and a picture of the idol is kept aside. The ritual at moon rising marks the culmination of the festival.
Significance of Karva Chauth
In India, marriage is considered auspicious and is something beyond worldly affairs. Here tying knots means promising a companionship of seven lives. According to Hindu mythology, the will power of a married lady is so strong that it can change her husband’s bad fortune into good and even God’s ultimate decision. In India marriage is strengthened through several means and one of it is Karwa Chauth. It is considered to be the biggest occasion for the entire married woman fraternity in the country. It is said that successful completion of this fast ensures long life and prosperous future for her husband. Rituals need to be followed very carefully as it is believed that any flaw in the fast may endanger the life of your partner.