Karva Chauth is a Hindu festival celebrating the bond of a husband and wife. Karva Chauth has a prime significance in every Hindu couple’s married life, especially the women.
In the Hindu culture, fasts hold supreme prominence. Almost every festival and occasion experiences one or the other fast, each celebrating the various human relationships.
Karva Chauth is a fasting festival in which the wife observes a nirjala that is without water fast for the longevity and prosperity of her husband.
Karwa Chauth 2022 Date and Time
Like many Hindu festivals, Karwa Chauth is also based on the lunisolar calendar. A lunisolar calendar accounts for all astronomical positions, especially the moon to calculate important dates.
According to the Hindu calendar, Karva Chauth falls on the fourth day after Poornima, the full moon, in the month of Kartik. It is also known as Krishna Paksha.
In 2022, Karwa Chauth will be celebrated on the 13th of October.
- Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat is from 05:59 pm to 07:13 pm.
- Moonrise on Karwa Chauth is predicted to be around 08:31 pm.
- Chaturthi Tithi begins at 01:59 am on October 13, 2022.
- Chaturthi Tithi ends at 03:08 am on October 14, 2022.
Karwa Chauth Procedure
Karwa Chauth also, like all other Indian festivals, has its own set of rituals and traditions that are run down for generations. Every family might have something unique but on the whole, the following rituals are followed all over the country.
Sargi is a very prominent ritual for all fasting women across the country. Sargi is the food that is eaten before sunrise on the day of Karva Chauth.
Married women get beautifully wrapped baskets with the Sargi from their mother-in-law. It is considered auspicious when the Sargi is prepared by the mother-in-law.
In many regions, the fasting women of the neighborhood get together before sunrise, to eat the Sargi. It mainly consists of thirst-quenching foods that would help the ladies to go through the day without feeling much thirsty.
Traditionally, a newlywed woman spends the day before Karva Chauth in her mother’s house and comes to her husband’s house on the day of Karva Chauth.
On Karva Chauth, married women wear bright and beautiful clothes, heavy jewelry, and bangles. They also get intricate patterns drawn, with henna, on their palms and feet.
Traditionally, it is the mother of the woman who sends the bayna. It includes sweets, money, clothes, and a Karva, a small earthen pitcher, to their married daughters’ houses.
In the evening, the mother-in-law or an elderly woman in the house accepts the bayna after the puja is concluded. Thus, the festival of Karva Chauth involves not only married women but also other members of the household.
Usually in the evenings at the time of dusk, the women of the neighborhood gather at someone’s house to perform the puja together.
A small area is prepared for the ceremony. A small square platform is placed against the wall and kharia matti (powdery mud) is used to cleanse and decorate the puja area.
An idol of Gaur Mata or Goddess Parvati is placed on the consecrated spot. The idol is then decorated using all the holy cosmetic stuff.
Traditionally, the tiny idols of Gaur Mata were made from cow dung, though nowadays people prefer clay. Some also use pictures of Goddess Parvati.
After the idols are decorated and placed, about an hour before the moonrise, the women place their Baynas and their Karvas at the feet of the idols.
Everyone sits around the puja area to pray, while an elderly lady narrates one of the many regional tales associated with Karva Chauth. Most commonly, the story of Queen Veeravati is told.
While the story is read out to everyone, the women exchange their respective Karvas, until each one gets her Karva back. During this time, they also chant prayers for the well-being of the husband and marital bliss.
The puja ends with the women showering rice and vermilion on Goddess Parvati and seeking her blessings. The younger women touch the feet of the elders, seek their blessings, and offer their bayna to them.
- Breaking The Fast
In the evening, the women see the moon, while carrying a plate decorated with lit earthen lamps, mesh, and a container of water. Also, a plate of all the food that is made for the bhog.
Once the moon rises, it is seen through a fine mesh or sieve. Water is offered to the moon, followed by some food. Then they repeat this seven times.
Though the women are allowed to break their fast after they see the moon, it is preferred if they can also see the faces of their husbands before they eat or drink.
What’s Inside A Traditional Sargi Thali?
The Sargi is a symbol of love and blessing that a mother-in-law expresses towards her daughter-in-law in the form of Sargi thali. The fasting women receive a Sargi thali before the fast breaks on the day of the fast.
Sargi thali is full of energizing food items that help sustain the woman through the ordeal of the fast. Items like sindoor, sarees, etc are also given along with the foods as symbols of love and care.
The traditional Sargi thali consists of many items that are considered to be mandatory.
Here are the things a Sargi thali should contain:
- Fresh fruits
Fresh fruits have high water content. Since the Karva Chauth vrat is nirjala, or without water, eating a lot of fresh fruits makes up for the loss of hydration. Including citrus fruits along with pomegranates can refill the water quotient of the body.
- Dry fruits
Dry fruits are always an integral part of festivities. They have an energizing quality that can help sustain the body for long durations. Including cashews, almonds, raisins, and pistachios in the thali would benefit the women.
- Cooked food
Simply cooked food can go a long way while fasting. Including mathris, a roti or two, sabji, or halwa are the cooked food items that should be included in the Sargi thali.
These food items will make you feel full for longer, and yet, won’t be too heavy to raise any indigestion issues.
Starting the fast with something sweet gives energy and purity of mind needed to sustain throughout the day. In many parts, it is considered compulsory to include Sevvainyaan as a sweet in the Sargi thali. Other sweet dishes like kheer can also be included.
Nowadays, with everything readily available in the markets, even Sargi thalis are easily accessible without putting in much effort. For women who live away from their mothers-in-law, the mother-in-law can get a customized Sargi thali delivered to her daughter-in-law, thanks to various e-commerce options.
Apart from Sargi thali, Puja ki thali is another very important task. It should be made in order with the customs using the right things in the right amounts.
Puja Thali can contain the following items:
- A clean plate for keeping all the pooja items
- A Gadvi or glass filled with water
- Sindoor or kumkum
- Red thread, called kalava
- Karva filled with water
- Seven seenkhs or sticks to offer to the moon
- Baya or Bayana
- Paan Leaves
- Ghee or oil
- Fruits and sweets for offerings to Goddess
- Kapoor or Camphor balls
- Diya made of atta
- Strainer or sieve to see the moon in the evening
- Red or Pink cloth to cover your thali
Bhog of Puja Thali
In the Puja thali, the bhog or prasad is offered to Goddess Parvati, and the moon is also included. The bhog ingredients are generally the same across all parts of the country with a few minor changes regionally.
The Bhog includes the following items:
- Puris or matthi
- Meethi Puris or puas
- Two sabzi
- Sevvaiyan or kheer
Significance of Karwa Chauth
Karva means pot and ‘Chauth’ is the fourth. Karva is an important part of the puja rituals and the festival falls on the fourth day after the Poornima in Kartik maas.
Karva Chauth is predominantly a North-Indian festival. It is said to have originated in the northern parts of the country. Back in the day, the northern part was more prone to invasions and attacks.
Most of the men were soldiers and away at war. Their wives back home used to pray for their safety and health. They would look at the moon and pretend it to be their husband’s face.
Undoubtedly, it is a very romantic notion to imagine your spouse’s face on the moon. Over the years, it evolved into what we call Karva Chauth.
The basic idea and significance of Karva Chauth remain the same. The married women pray to the moon god for their husband’s health and wealth.
The Karva Chauth fast is mostly celebrated in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. It is celebrated as Alta Taddei in Andhra Pradesh.
Stories of Karwa Chauth
With rich mythology like the Indians, every festival is bound to have tales woven in the holy scriptures around them. The same is the case for Karva Chauth.
There are not one or two but three famous accounts of Karva Chauth. Are you curious to know about them? Well, it’s story-time then.
- Tale of Queen Veeravati
The most popular story is that of a beautiful queen named Veervati. She was the only sister of seven loving brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth at her parents’ house.
As per the rituals, she began her fast after sunrise. However, by dusk, she was desperately waiting for the moon to rise. Finally, she couldn’t put up with the thirst and hunger any longer and fell unconscious on the ground.
Her brothers, anguished seeing their beloved sister suffer, begged her to break the fast but she refused. Seeing her in distress, they decided to trick her that the moon had risen.
They placed a round mirror on a peepal tree that looked like the moon had risen. So, Veervati fell for her brother’s trick and broke the fast.
However, the moment she ate her first morsel, word arrived that her husband, the king was dead. Then she fasted for seven consecutive years on Karva Chauth and the king was brought back to life.
- The Story of Karva
Another popular tale is the legend of a woman named Karva who was a devoted wife. Once while having a bath in the river, Karva’s husband was caught by a crocodile.
To save him, Karva tied the crocodile with cotton yarn and asked Yamraj to send the animal to hell. When Yamraj refused, she threatened to destroy him with her curse.
Yama, afraid of the lady, then sent the crocodile to hell. He blessed Karva’s husband to have a long life and Karva and her husband lived happily together.
- Mention in the Mahabharat
There is another legend set in the Mahabharata era that talks about observing a fast for the well-being of the husband. As we all know that Draupadi was the queen of the five Pandavas.
It is believed that Draupadi had also observed this fast for the safety and long life of her husband. When Arjun had gone for penance in the Nilgiris, the rest of the Pandavas faced many issues in his absence.
Then Draupadi remembered Lord Krishna for his help. Lord Krishna reminded her that in a similar situation earlier Goddess Parvati had kept a fast for Lord Shiva.
Inspired by this, Draupadi too observed a fast of Karva Chauth with all its rituals for her husbands. And consequently, the Pandavas can face their problems and overcome them.
- Tale of Satyavan and Satyavati
Once there was a couple, Satyavan and Satyavati. When Lord Yama came to procure Satyavan’s soul, Satyavati begged him to grant her her husband’s life.
When Yama refused, she stopped eating and drinking and followed Yama who carried away her dead husband. Yamraj offered her to have any boon she wanted except for the life of her husband.
Satyavati asked that she be blessed with children. Yama agreed. Being a “pati-vrata”, a husband-devoted, wife, Satyavati could not let any other man father her children.
Ultimately, Yama was left with no other choice but to revive Satyavati’s husband to life to fulfill his blessing.
Karwa Chauth In Different States
The festival of Karwa Chauth has extraordinary importance among married women across India. However, the way of celebrating Karva Chauth varies from one state to another.
Let’s have a look at some of the major states and their unique way of celebrating this festival.
Karva Chauth is one of the main festivals for married women in Punjab. On this auspicious occasion, most of the rituals are similar to the ones in all other parts with subtle modifications.
For Sargi in the morning, women are required to include ‘firni’ in their meals. It is said that it helps to stay hydrated for longer without water.
Also, during the puja in the evening, feris are sung while the elderly tell the story to all fasting women. The first six describe some of the activities that are forbidden during the fast and the seventh describes the lifting of those restrictions with the conclusion of the fast.
Things that are not allowed during the fast include weaving cloth, pleading with or attempting to please anyone, and awakening anyone asleep.
- Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, married women decorate the walls of their houses with drawings of Maa Gauri, the moon, and the sun. They also make the karwa with mud and perform the evening pooja with earthen lamps.
Another ritual requires women to pray to the idols at their doorstep, before looking at the moon.
At this festival, the women in Rajasthan make Karvas which are earthen pots filled with rice and wheat. Also, the Karvas are painted and decorated.
As a part of the celebration, they especially embellish themselves in their bridal wear unlike in other parts of the country where women usually dress up in brand new clothes.
Interestingly, it is believed here that the woman who fast is not only blessed with the well-being of her husband but also wins the same husband for the next seven births.
Karva Chauth is a special festival for all married women, especially in the northern parts of India. However, it is not only the women who fast.
Modern times are evolving times. We often come across men who go without eating or drinking anything all day long to support their wives and to pray for their well-being.
It is a festival that celebrates the true nature of a married relationship. If this article helped to know more about this festival, then do spread the love. Share it with your friends and family.
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