Karva Chauth is a Hindu festival that all married women cherish. Read this article for further information.

Karva Chauth

Karva Chauth is a festival that every Indian woman looks forward to. A typical Indian woman is described to be so devoted to her husband that all her prayers channel to his safety and well-being. Although today India is a developing country and has moved way forward into modernity, the devotion of Indian women to their husband has not wavered. Karva Chauth is the day that symbolizes this love and devotion of an Indian woman towards her husband. On this day she fasts the entire day without even a sip of water, until the moon appears which is when her husband feeds her the first morsel of food. She does this as a prayer to her husband's protection and long life. Even some unmarried women or girls keep this fast in prayer of a good husband.

There are many stories that relate to the history of Karva Chauth. Some believe that the true story can never be known. Others believe that it first started as a celebration of friendship of the bride with a sister-in-law or another woman in the house of her in-laws, termed as god-sisters and that praying for the husband was just a part of it. Yet others believe that it came from the story of Shiva and Parvati. The latter is the most famous story of all. During the prayer of this fast, the woman asks the gods that may she go to the grave as a bride (suhagan) and not as a widow. Although the history of this festival cannot be truly traced, if we look at the Indian history, a simple explanation to it could be this. Indian woman have always considered their husbands as God (pati parmeshwar) and believed that it was their duty to serve him.

Celebrations And Rituals
The very famous tradition of this day is the fast that women keep for their husbands and nowadays also for their beloved. From four in the morning till night when they see the moon, they do not eat or drink anything. They prepare a kalash (looks somewhat like an earthen pot) in which they keep water or milk with five pieces of different metals. This is offered to Lord Ganesha during puja with prayers for the husband and his long life. In the evening usually the prayers are held under the auspicious Banyan tree. The story of Karwa Chauth is also recited. This tree is considered sacred according to the Hindu mythology. Idols of Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati are also kept, where fruits rice and alms are offered to them. The worship takes its final course when the full moon is seen. The husband's Arti is done, with the women taking a new sieve and looking through it to see the moon and worshiping it then looking at her husband through it and saying the prayer of his long life. After this, the husband feeds her with water and food and breaks her fast.

Commonly Celebrated
According to the Indian Lunar calendar, Karva Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day of the waning moon in the Kartik month. This day falls somewhere in the month of October or November as per the Gregorian calendar. Usually it falls nine days before another festival called Diwali. Dominantly this festival is celebrated in the Indian sate of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. However, today because of cultures and traditions moving from place to place, it is celebrated almost everywhere in India.

Karwa Chauth Recipes
Broken Wheat Kheer | Malpua | Vermicelli Pudding | Dum Aloo | Methi Parathas