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Karva Chauth

Karva Chauth is a festival of love and devotion. A married woman fasts from sunrise to the moonrise for her husband's well-being, safety, and longevity. 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 2023 will be celebrated on the 1st of November, 2023. Learn more about the origin, importance, and rituals of the Karva Chauth festival below!

 

Significance of Karva Chauth

The importance of Karva Chauth is woven into many stories. In each story, a devoted wife brings back her husband from the claws of death or pulls him out of trouble with 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. So the married women of the village would get together to support each other. This fostered bonding and friendship, 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 her seven brothers loved. 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. To have her break the fast, they created an illusion of a moonrise. Veeravati opened her fast and received the news of her husband’s death.

 

Upon learning the trickery of her brothers, she was heartbroken. She prayed to Goddess Shakti, who appeared before her. On listening to her distressing tale, Goddess suggested she redo the fast with complete dedication. Eventually, Yama – the lord of death, was forced to bring her husband back 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, Karva was a pious woman 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, jewellery, and ‘suhaag ka samaan’ like sindoor, bindiya, bangles, and more for the festival. Then, a new karva or a spherical clay pot beautifully decorated is filled with ‘shringar’ items and homemade 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 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 in traditional Indian clothes, saree, salwar suits, or lehenga and apply ‘mehndi’ or ‘henna’ on their hands and feet. The colour 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, 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.’ The song is the same for the first six feris, while there is a minor difference in the seventh feri.

 

The fast is opened after the sighting of the moon god or the moon's reflection 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 husbands. 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. The story is associated with Gaur Mata and Shiva-Parvati in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

 

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 colourful songs and dance, the festival has also grown in popularity in other parts of India.

 

Karva Chauth 2023

Karva Chauth is celebrated on the 4th day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartik. This year Karva Chauth 2023 falls on the 1st of November. So be with your loved ones this Karva Chauth 2023. Book your tickets on time with redBus and rekindle the romance of Karva Chauth.

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