What is Karwa Chauth Sargi?
The buzz now is around the festival of Karwa Chauth – the day when married women fast for the well-being and long life of their husbands. Karva Chauth falls on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Karthik. This year it will fall on 17th October. Women across India eagerly wait for the moon to rise, while men are busy deciding what gifts to give to their wives who fast for them throughout the day. On this auspicious day, women pray for their husband's long life and safety. However, the day-long fast is celebrated as a symbol of conjunct love. But there is one part of this ritual that hardly gets any notice, and that is the sargi. ‘Sargi” happens to steal the spotlight and why not when this is a tradition passed on from one generation to another.
After bathing, women take the sargi from their mother-in-law. If a woman's mother-in-law lives far away in a different city, mother-in-law sends it to her daughter-in-law. However, if she is not, then the sargi may be given by the elder co-sister or sister-in-law of the woman. Sharing sargi with friends and relatives is considered a good omen.
Sargi is a symbol of love and blessings which a mother-in-law sends to her daughter-in-law, usually one day before Karva Chauth. It is a pre-dawn meal prepared by a mother-in-law to bless their daughters for a happy and joyful marriage. In North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, women follow the tradition of sargi.
The mother-in-law prepares a sargi thali for her daughter-in-law to bless her on this auspicious day and wishes her well so that she can fast successfully. It consists of five to seven types of dishes, such as sweets, mathri, fruits, dry fruits, sevai, etc. Apart from this, clothes and ornaments are also kept in it. Also, other items of adornment such as bangles, bindi, and mehndi are placed on the plate. All these things are decorated in a plate and the mother-in-law bestows it with the blessings of her daughter-in-law. All these have their own meaning and importance.
The reason for giving this sargi is that before starting the Karwa Chauth fast, one should eat a lot of healthy food so that it can give energy for the whole day to keep this fast properly. The fast of Karva Chauth begins only after consuming sargi. After this, they remain clean throughout the day and worship only after the moon rise. This legacy of blessing the daughters-in-law holds a lot of relevance and this is simply because the woman observes the fast for her husband as well as for the well being of the entire family and this is why choosing the right foods for Sargi becomes a necessity.