All About Karwa Chauth Festival

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Karwa Chauth 2016

Glitterings, lightings all around! Well, its October, the month of festivals. Navratri just passed with the grand celebrations of Dandiya nights and Durga Puja all around and it’s the queue of festivals started.

Hello, people! Today it’s Karwachouth, and in this article on SAIKISITE, I’m going to tell you all about the festival, the significance, the history and the celebrations.

Karwachouth is a combination of words Karwa meaning and earthen pot and chauth meaning fouth. It basically refers to the day it is celebrated which is the fourth day of dark fortnight ( called Krishna paksha) in the Hindu month of Kartika.

It is celebrated by married women of mostly Hindu and Punjabi origins. It is believed that fasting on this day leads to the long life of the husband. Some unmarried girls observe the fast too in hope of getting a good spouse.

It is believed that fasting on this day leads to the long life of the husband. Some unmarried girls observe the fast too in hope of getting a good spouse.

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History And Beliefs

It dates back to ancient times when men used to go for warfares, leaving behind their family and the wives used to pray for their safety, long-lived and early return by observing fast without water and since then the tradition has been followed.

Another part is which is known to quite less that earlier when modes of transportation and communication were not developed enough, it was very difficult for the new bride to adjust to the new surroundings and family since there were no ways she could communicate with her family or friends.

So in order to provide the new bride with a companion, she was befriended by another woman married in the same village and about her age whom she could share hearts with. The festival was then celebrated to celebrate the pure bond called the bond of God sisters.

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Women would buy new Karwas, decorate them and fill them with bangles, sweets, makeup items and things representing love and care. The women would then visit each other on the day of Karwachouth and exchange the Karwas.

A woman performing the Karva chauth ritual

The legend of Queen Veera

Another legend related to the festival is the story of queen Veera who was the only sister of seven brothers . It was her fasting for her husband when the brothers could not see their only sister starving. They created an artificial moon which led Veera to break her fast and as a result of her husband immediately  died. 

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Later when she realised she abstained herself from food and water and praying and weeping which made Goddess appear whom she told how she had been tricked . She was asked by Goddess to repeat the fast with a full devotion which made even Yamaraj to return the life of her husband. Since then it is the chouth( fourth) day of the month when Karwachouth is celebrated, praying for the well being of the husband.

She was asked by Goddess to repeat the fast with a full devotion which made even Yamaraj to return the life of her husband. Since then it is the chouth( fourth) day of the month when Karwachouth is celebrated, praying for the well being of the husband.

The Legend Of Mahabharata

It is also believed that Draupadi observed this fast when Arjuna went to Nilgiris for penance and it made Pandavas face a lot of problems. It was then lord Krishna who advised her to observe this fast as Goddess Parvati once did under similar conditions. Draupadi did it with full devotion consequently making Pandavas overcome all their problems.

Also, it falls during the period of wheat sowing which was stored in big pots called Karwas. The fasting was done to pray for reaping the good harvest.

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Celebrations

The preparations for the festival start from a few days before which include the purchase of jewellery, clothes makeup and puja items, henna etc. On the day, it starts with the before meal called Sargi in the dawn which is usually served by the mother in laws after which the fast starts and continues till the moonrise.

Women apply henna which has a great significance, signifying by its colour, the love and respect between the couple and that between the mother in law and the daughter in law. 

As stated above, in some places women gift each other with Karwas . In the evening, women gather for the holy ritual involving the exchange of decorated plates seven times with the stories related to the festival being narrated. Also at some places, women gift their mother in law with shringar items ( makeup items) and dry fruits in return of which they receive nek.( money or gifts).

Completion Of  The Fast

After the moonrise, the fast is opened when women look at the moon through a sieve and worship it followed by looking at the husband. Then they are fed water and sweets by the husband thus completing and opening the day long fast.

These days grand celebrations are done for the festival at community levels. People get together and the ceremony of opening of fast is done together. It is then sometimes followed by fun games, dances and dinners, often termed as Karwachouth parties.

Also, these days some men have started fasting along with their wives symbolising equality, mutual love and respect and a dedication and gesture of love for their spouse. After all the festival is all about celebrating love, celebrating and strengthening relationships and bonds.

So on this festival of love, keep spreading love, keep loving, stay happy and keep reading SAIKISITE

Thank You!

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