Karwa Chauth : A festival observed by married women for longevity of their Husbands
India is a country of culture and rituals. People celebrate various festivals and occasions following the traditions which were observed in our past histories. If we see to our Indian Hindu culture, we will notice that there are many festivals, occasions and special dates that have special relevance. Every festival and occasion has special relevance and story behind it. Some are celebrated in remembrance of ancient Gods while some are celebrated to pray for well being of people and family. Most of the Indian festivals are celebrated for prosperity and strengthening the bond which we share with our closed one. Karwa Chauth is one of the very special occasions celebrated by Indian married women. Wives on this day fast for whole day without eating and drinking. They perform the rituals for longer life of their husband. This festival shows the respect and love of women for their husbands.
When Karwa Chauth is celebrated
The name Karwa Chauth has gained its name because of the date and the way the rituals are performed in this day. The meaning of Karwa Chauth is offering “Argya” to moon using a pot called Karwa on Chaturthi of the Karthika month. The festival comes on fourth day of the dark fortnight in the Kartika month. Therefore it has got its name as Karwa Chauth as it comes on Chauth which means the fourth day.
Date of Karwa Chauth 2023 and Puja Mahurat
This year Karwa Chauth will be observed on Wednesday, November 01, 2023.
How Karwa Chauth is celebrated
Since Karwa Chauth is all about Indian married women praying for longer and healthy life of their husband. This day all ladies gather at one place and celebrated this festival by doing rituals and offering Argya to moon. The importance of Karwa in this festival is significant. These Karwa are new earthen pots which are filled with grains and decorated by women before doing pooja. They put all the Suhaag materials like bangles, bindis, sindoor and sweets for pooja. Women exchange their karwas with other ladies. Married women worship Chauth Mata and pray for the well being of their husband. At the early morning before sunrise wives have custom of eating Sargi. Sargi is an important part of this festival as the Indian women start their Karwa Chauth fast by eating Sargi before sunrise. It basically includes sweets, dry-fruits, halwa and fresh fruits. This Sargi is prepared by mother-in-law and offered to fasting women. Women also prepare traditional food items and sweets to offer them to Chauth Mata. On this married women also apply mehandi on their hands and feet as it is regarded as symbol of good fortune. Whole day Indian wives do fasting without eating and drinking water and wait for the moon rise to offer it Argya.
Married women buy the shringar or the traditional adornments for poojs and during the night time, women do Puja of Karwa Mata. They get ready in traditional attire with shringar and hear the stories related with Karwa Chauth. After completing pooja, they wait for moon rise and after moon rise, Argya is offered. They see the refection of moon from Sieve and then they look at their husband face. The fast comes to an end by drinking water offered by the husbands.
Why do we Celebrate Karwa Chauth?
Celebration of Karwa Chauth has a prominence position. There are many stories associated with the celebration of this festival. It is widely celebrated across the country India. Earlier in North and North western regions, major male population was in army and military forces. Their wives started fasting for safety and longevity of their husband. Since this festival comes during Rabi cropping season which is wheat sowing season. Women of every family used to fill the earthen pot with wheat grain and offer the same to God.
One of another belief behind celebration of Karwa Chauth is that earlier girls used get married at the age of 10-13 years. They did not get enough time to live with the family and their friends. In new home they do not get time to meet other. So, Karwa Chauth was celebrated in a grand way. Married women gather at one place and celebrate this festival together. They exchange gifts like bangles, sindoor and other items. They spend some time like friends and feel good. In the recent times husbands have also started fasting on this day to accompany their wives.
Stories behind Karwa Chauth
There are many stories behind celebration of Karwa Chauth. Some of them are:
Story of Queen Veervati: The queen Veervati was only sister among seven loving and caring brothers. On the day of her first Karwa Chauth, she observed fasting at her parent’s place. Whole day she was hungry and thirsty. Looking the condition of sister, the brothers created an image in Peepal tree and she ended her fasting. As soon as she ended her fasting, she got the news about her husband death. She rushed for home and during that she meets Goddess Parvati. The Goddess revealed that her brothers played trick to end her fast. Then she kept the fast with full devotion and Yama, the lord of death restored life to her husband.
Story of Satyavan and Savitri: The story of Savitri is one of the most heard stories on the occasion of Karwa Chauth. The Lord of death, Yama took the life of Satyava, husband of Savitri. Savitri stopped eating and drinking till she gets the life of her husband. She followed Yama and begged for life of her husband. Yama said to Savitri that she could ask anything except life of her husband. Then Savitri asked to have children. Since she was devoted and loyal wife, Yama had to restore life to Satyavan.
Process of Karwa Chauth fasting
Karwa Chauth is a festival of strengthening bond of love and marriage between husband and wife. Doing fasting as per the rituals and rules gives the utmost benefits to the women doing Karwa Chauth fasting. The process of Karwa Chauth fasting begins with early morning. Women who is to observe fasting needs to wake up before sunrise and take bath. They should wear new attire and do sankalp for fasting before sun rise. After that they should accept the sargi offered by their mother-in-law. The sargi includes complete sringar items like bangles, sindoor, new attire and sweets. The food should be cooked without use of onion and garlic. Married women should consume sargi before sunrise. More information on Fasting in Karwa Chauth
To begin with the fasting, women should chant the name of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva and Ganesha. As part of rituals the place where pooja is to be carried is painted with Geru. Idols of Parvati and Ganesh are also prepared to worship. Festival fest is also prepared which includes Athavari. In this eight puris and sweets are prepared and offered at pooja.
How to do Karwa Chauth Pooja?
The place where pooja is to be done should be cleaned and covered with red cloth. The Idol of Goddess Parvati is to be decorated with solah Shringar. Picture of Karwa Mata is also placed. Women also draw Goddess Gaura and Chauth Mata on the wall to worship Mata Parvati. Goddess Gaura and Chauth Mata are the swaroop of Goddess Parvati. New earthen pots filled with grains, sugar and coins should be placed before Karwa mata. Kalash filled with water is also placed at the Karwa Mata. During the puja, following Mantra should be chanted.
नमः शिवायै शर्वाण्यै सौभाग्यं संतति शुभाम्। प्रयच्छ भक्तियुक्तानां नारीणां हरवल्लभे॥
It means that “O beloved Lord Shiva, please give long life to my husband and beautiful sons to women devotees”.
After chanting of mantra, Goddess Gaura, Lord Shiva, Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha are worshipped. After puja is over, Karwa should be donated to Brahmins. After doing worship of Karwa Mata, Goddess Parwati and other Gods, Moon is to be worship. Women after doing puja at home should wait for moon rise. After moon rise, pooja thali is to be prepared to offer Argya to moon. Married women should fill a lotta with water and offer Argya with that to moon. The refection of moon is seen from Sieve and then look at husband face. The fast is ended by drinking water and eating sweets offered by the husbands.
How to prepare Karwa Chauth thali
Karwa Chauth thali is to be prepared after the moon rise. The Karva Chauth thali should consist of Diya which can also be made out of wheat flour. The diya must be lighted up with mustard oil in it. A lotta filled with water should be kept for giving Argya to moon. Following items should be included in the Karwa Chauth thali for moon pooja.
• Sweets or Mathri
• Colorful chunni to cover thali
• Steel glass filled with water
What to wear in Karwa Chauth/ Karwa Chauth saree
On the special day of Karwa Chauth, every married women desire to look like a bride. Traditional outfits are mostly preferred by women on this day. Red color saree or any traditional dress is the first priority of women to wear on this festival. Banarasi Saree, Lehenga or Salwar suit can be weared on this day.
Why ladies exchange thali in Karwa Chauth
There are many rituals performed during the Karwa Chauth pooja. One of the rituals is phere rituals. In this ritual all married women gather at one place and do pooja. They also exchange thali by making a circle. This is one of the rituals followed by married women.
Karwa Chauth before Marriage
Although Karwa Chauth is festival of married women, but with changing time, trends are changing. Now unmarried women are also observing Karwa Chauth to get perfect partner in their life. It is said that when an unmarried girl do Karwa Chauth fast on this day and worship Goddess Parvati, she get husband like Lord shiva.
Karwa Chauth Rituals for unmarried
The ritual for Karwa Chauth fasting is somewhat similar to that followed by married women. The unmarried women should start fasting by having nutritious and healthy food before sunrise so that women can feel energetic during the complete day. Since Sargi is offered by mother-in-laws to the married women. Therefore they cannot follow the said rituals. The other rituals and fasting method adopted by unmarried women is same. They should read the katha of Karwa Chauth and worship Goddess Parvati. The unmarried women can also attend the pooja ceremonies done by married women. They should end their fast by having glance of Polar North Star.
Karwa Chauth Rituals for engaged girl
Since Karwa Chauth has become trend and even engaged girls are even observing this fast. They can follow all the rituals and can be part of this festival with married women. They can end their fast by seeing the face of their fiancés through video calls.
How to break Karwa Chauth fast without husband
Karwa Chauth is a festival observed by married women for longer life and health of husband. Seeing husband through Sieve after seeing reflection of moon is an important ritual. However, if husband is not there due to certain engagement, women can break their fast by looking at the face of husband through video call or picture.
How pregnant women can do Karwa Chauth fasting
Karwa Chauth is a fast that should be continued every year after starting it. In case of pregnancy, pregnant women should take some precautions while doing Karwa Chauth fasting. The first thing they should do is to consult their doctor. If the doctor allows then they should fast as per the directions. At the early morning they can have full glass of milk with some fresh fruits. During the day time they can keep them hydrated by having juice or fresh fruits. Pregnant women with health issues should make sure that they intake enough nutrition as per the consultation of doctor. They should keep themselves engaged by listening to music and chanting mantras. Medicines and supplements should be taken during the fast. The expecting mothers should take care of the growth of babies first and based on their will power should do fasting.
There are many stories of Karwa Chauth that emphasize the importance of this festival for women and how ancient this festival is. With changing time, unmarried girls are keeping this fast to get their desired life partner. This fast from sunrise to moonrise is observed for longevity and healthy life of husband. Happy Karwa Chauth fasting to all!!
New Age Karwa Chauth
The question raises in the mind of any conscientious person is that why husbands are not wishing for their wives longevity? Such questions are more significant today when people discuss openly about gender equality. Read more about New Age Karva Chauth
Why Moon rises late on Karwa Chauth?
Karwa Chauth is on fourth day after full moon. On the day of full moon, the moon rises exactly at the time of sunset. After that, everyday, the moon moves 12 degrees towards east. Hence, the rise time of the moon increases by 48 minutes everyday (relative to sunset).
Thus, in four days, the time difference between sunset and moon-rise becomes 48 * 4 = 192 minutes, i.e., 3 hours and 12 minutes.
Hence, the moon rises later every night by 48 minutes, its just that we notice it on such occasions.