Every year, married Hindu women mark the one-day festival of Karva Chauth, during which they fast from dawn to moonrise and offer prayers for their husbands’ health and longevity. Unmarried ladies who pray in the hopes of finding a desirable life partner also observe the event. It occurs on the fourth day of the dark fortnight Krishna paksha, also known as the declining moon phase, in the Hindu lunar month of Kartik. The period typically varies from mid to late October.
The northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan are where it is primarily observed. Karva, which refers to an earthen pot with a spout, and Chauth, which means fourth, make up the phrase Karva Chauth. The women use the clay pot to present water to the moon from the Karwa Chauth thali set as part of the festival traditions, which gives it immense significance. This event is thought to have arisen when wives began to pray for their husband’s safe return from wars in other regions.
Additionally, it is believed that it is a celebration of the conclusion of the harvest season. Whatever its origins, the holiday provides a chance to deepen family relationships. The event involves observing a “Nirjala” fast, during which ladies refrain from eating or drinking anything during the day. Prayers are made to the Goddess Gauri, an embodiment of Parvati, who bestows blessings for a long and fulfilling marriage.
This process doesn’t only begin on the first day. Everything starts the day before! All newlyweds and married ladies are given the customary Sargi from their future husband’s family, which the mother-in-law makes. The Karwa Chauth Sargi contains food that should be eaten first thing in the morning before the fast begins. Since it will give the fasting women the energy they’ll need for the rest of the day. Before dawn, you must eat this dish in the morning. Fruits, the salty fried snack known as mathri, milk-based Indian sweets known as mithai, and dry fruits like Kaju, kismis, and badam are all included.
Karwa Chauth Baya
The term “baya” refers to a unique present that the daughter-in-law gave to her mother-in-law for Karwa Chauth. It includes clothing, jewelry, food, utensils, and other presents. Married women who are fasting present this to their in-laws and ask for their blessings.
A narration of vrat Katha
The first or oldest married woman tells the people in the area the fasting tale (Vrat Katha) before Karwa Chauth puja. Which is followed by a few somber rituals and ancestral traditions.
Elaborate puja preparations
The traditional Karwa Chauth evening puja preparations are completed well in advance in the evening. In a home where a new bride celebrated her first karva Chauth. Married female relatives actively participated in the Karwa Chauth Puja. The first Karwa Chauth event in Punjabi culture is a mini-wedding complete with music, dance, food, and entertainment. The married woman typically wears her bridal lehenga, a thick saree, or accessorizes with jewelry and solah shringar during the evening puja.
As part of the baya, the newlywed must deliver matris and kitchenware to the women during the puja. And preparations are prepared beforehand. In Punjabi custom, the wedded woman must also provide food and cosmetics to the priestess as a charity before starting her Karwa Chauth fast and eating the sargi. While making plans and preparations for the puja, the charity items are divided a day in advance.
The local women typically perform the evening puja together at someone’s home. The ceremony, which can be held in any room of the house or outside, is set up in a modest space. The puja space is cleaned and decorated with sharia Matti, spread out on a small square platform against the wall. A statue of Gaur Mata, Goddess Parvati, is set up in the designated area. Although portraits or idols of Parvati are now the standards, the little figure of Gaur Mata was traditionally created from cow dung.
Opening Karwa Chauth Fast at Moonrise
The bride anticipates the moon opening quickly as it shines brightly in the sky. Under the supervision of her mother-in-law, she prepares her puja using a lit diya, a sieve, water-filled Karwas, and sweets. She breaks her fast by drinking water and eating sweets from the karwa Chauth thali set from her husband’s hands while he stands in front of her. Firstly, sees the moon through the sieve before her spouse. After that touches her husband’s feet and swears to stay by his side forever, requesting his blessing.