Karva Chauth is a festival of love and devotion. A married woman fasts from the sunrise to the moonrise for the well-being, safety, and longevity of her husband. Not even a sip of water goes down her throat all day. Karva Chauth is thus the festival of love and devotion of a wife for her husband. Karva Chauth 2021 will be celebrated on 24th October 2021 this year. Learn more about the origin, importance, and rituals of Karva Chauth festival below!
Significance of Karva Chauth
The importance of Karva Chauth is woven in many stories. In each story, a devoted wife brings back her husband from the claws of death or pulls him out of trouble with her sheer determination and devotion.
In olden times, men would go on long military campaigns to far off places. The wives would be back home longing for their safe return. The married women of the village would get together to support each other. This fostered bonding and friendship among them, and they would come together to pray and celebrate festivals. The festival also corresponds with the sowing season of rabi crops like wheat.
Another story is that of Queen Veeravati, who was loved by her seven brothers. She was observing her first Karva Chauth Vrat at her maternal home, and the brothers could not bear to see their beloved sister observing such a strict fast. In order to have her break the fast, they created an illusion of moonrise. Veeravati opened her fast and received the news of her husband’s death.
Upon learning the trickery of her brothers, she was heart-broken. She prayed to Goddess Shakti, who appeared before her. On listening to her distressing tale, Goddess suggested her to redo the fast with complete dedication. Eventually, Yama – the lord of death was forced to bring back her husband to life.
In the epic of Mahabharata, Queen Draupadi observes this fast and prays to Shiva-Parvati to remove the obstacles faced by her five husbands.
In another story, a woman named Karva was a pious lady devoted to her husband. Once her husband was caught by a crocodile while bathing in the river. Karva threatened Yama to spare the life of her husband. Afraid of the devotion of a ‘pati-vrata’ woman, Yama was forced to restore his life.
Preparations and Celebrations
The preparation of Karva Chauth starts many days in advance with women buying new clothes, jewelry, and ‘suhaag ka samaan’ like sindoor, bindiya, bangles, and more for the festival. A new karva or a spherical clay pot beautifully decorated is filled with ‘shringar’ items and home-made sweets.
On the morning of the ‘vrat,’ women have ‘sargi,’ a special pre-dawn meal sent or prepared by their mother-in-law. The meal to be had before sunrise contains ‘soot feni’ or ‘fenia’ with milk-sugar and other nutritious food that gives them the energy to fast all day long.
Women dress up in traditional Indian clothes, saree, salwar suit, or lehenga and apply ‘mehndi’ or ‘henna’ on their hands and feet. The color of the same is related to how much her husband loves her. She adorns the ‘solah shringar’ that adds to her beauty. As the day passes, all the married women gather around dressed in their best attires and share the story of Karva Chauth and sing songs as they pass ‘puja ki thali’ in ‘Ferris’ or a circle. This is done a total of seven times with a special song that is sung in intervals. This song contains dos and don’ts to be followed during the ‘vrat.’ For the first six feris, the song is the same, while there is a minor difference in the seventh feri.
The fast is opened after the sighting of the moon god or the reflection of the moon in a vessel filled with water. Some women observe the moon through a ‘channi’ or a ‘dupatta’ and offer the ‘arka water’ to the moon while praying for the long life of their husband. The husband then offers water to his wife, and after that, she can consume a complete meal. With changing times, some men observe fast along with their wives. In some places, unmarried girls also observe the fast to be blessed with a good husband. There are minor changes in traditions from state to state. In Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the story is associated with Gaur Mata and Shiva-Parvati.
Festivities across India
Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and some other northern states follow the festivities and observe the Karva Chauth Vrat. With Bollywood romanticizing the festival with colorful songs and dance, the festival has grown in popularity in other parts of India as well.
Karva Chauth 2021
Karva Chauth is celebrated on the 4th day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartik. This year Karva Chauth 2021 falls on October 24th, Sunday. Be with your loved ones this Karva Chauth 2021. Book your tickets on time with redBus and rekindle the romance of Karva Chauth.
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