Learning About The W’s and H’s Of Karwa Chauth
About Karwa Chauth Vrat / Origin of Karwa Chauth / Why Karwa Chauth is Celebrated
The culture and traditions are the pride of India. They are glorious, vibrant, and are seeped into history. From North to South and East To West, every corner of India boasts of festive joys that are distinctive to them. Starting from the North, in the long line of festivals celebrated, will be discussing the upcoming occasion of Karwa Chauth.
In Indian society, the wife views their husbands as ‘Pati Parmeshvar,’ thus nurturing his life with unconditional love and praying for his longevity. The devotion of a wife towards her husband is celebrated as Karwa Chauth.
This festival falls on the fourth day of the full moon, in the month of October/November. On this day, Indian married women observe fast for the wellbeing and prosperity of their husbands. Now-a days, fiancee’s also seen observing the fast of Karwa Chauth for the safety and long-life of their fiance’.
Women observe a rigorous ‘Nirjala’ fast for a day and break their fast upon doing pooja in the presence of the moon and their husband. The husband feeds their wife the first bite of the food.
Meaning and Origin of Karwa Chauth:
The word ‘Karwa,’ means earthen pot and ‘Chauth’ means the fourth day, hence the name Karwa Chauth. Together, the name symbolizes offerings to the moon using the pot. The origin of the festival has many fascinating historical tales:
- One of the traditional tales is about the ‘Legend of Karwa,’ a woman deeply in love and loyal to her husband. Her husband was once caught by a ferocious crocodile. Karva asked the Yama to seize the crocodile and sent it to hell. Yama refused to do, so Karwa threatened to curse and destroy him. Yama, frightened of the powers of a devoted wife, sent crocodile to hell and blessed her with her husband.
- Another tale is of Queen Veeravati: Queen veeravati was the only sister of seven brothers. One day she began fasting after sunrise and was eagerly waiting for the full moon. The brothers could not see their sister in hunger and decided to imitate a moon using a mirror so she could end her fast and have a meal of the day. The moment she broke her fast, the news for husband dead arrives. She kept weeping and, then a Goddess arrived and revealed to her that she was tricked by her brothers. From that moment, she kept observing the Karwa Chauth fast, and moved by her devotion, Yama restored the life of his husband.
- The tales of Mahabharata: It is believed that Draupadi also observed the Karwa Chauth fast for the Pandavas who were her husbands. She followed all the strict rules and rituals of Karwa Chauth and thus was able to revive the Pandavas from the problems.
A peek into the mythological and historical tales enlighten us with the fact that the prayers, devotion, and love of a wife possess supreme power to win over the God of death. Therefore, Karwa Chauth has been celebrated by married women since ancient times invoking for long and healthy lives of their husbands.
Rituals of Karwa Chauth:
The beautiful Karwa Chauth rituals begin with women eating ‘Sargi’ a day before prepared by their mothers-in-law. During the day, women dress up in colours of passion and romance like red, pink, and orange, and participate in Karwachauth pooja. After the pooja, the mother-in-law presents a token of appreciation ‘Baya’ to a daughter-in-law for keeping the fast for their son’s wellbeing. And, at night the wives end their fast with a delicious meal.