The Rituals Followed during Karva Chauth
This is a much known Indian festival where the women follow the day and its rituals just for their husbands. Karva Chauth, is celebrated specifically in the North Western and Northern parts of India. In this observation, married women fast from sunrise till the moonrise, and seek blessings for the safety and longevity of their husbands. This day is celebrated on the fourth full moon day in the Karthik month according the Hindu calendar. In many regions, even unmarried women follow this ritual to seek blessings for their fiancé or to pray for a good husband. It is a one day festival. A festival similar to Karva Chauth, is the Chhath puja, which is specific to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Western Bihar
The Legend & Significance
Karva literally translates into a pot, and Chauth means fourth in Hindi language, and it also refers to the fourth day of the dark fortnight when this fast is celebrated. The origin of the festival lies in the northwestern part of India. It initiated with the military community, and eventually became a ritual. It is said that the wives of the military people who were defending the country from the Mughal invaders, observed this fast. This was observed to keep their men safe, and bless them with long life. It also coincides with the wheat sowing time, which is why wheat is stored in huge karvas at the time of this fast in the wheat eating regions.
Another legend claims that this festival is celebrated to honor Goddess Sati who brought back her husband from the dead.
On this day, before sunrise women observing this fast tend to eat some sweets and snacks which is named “Sargi”. After that they are not supposed to eat or drink anything through the day. One day prior to the fast, women apply mehndi on their hands, and buy cosmetics to get ready for the day. In the evening, on the fast day, these women perform the puja, and offer their prayers. They await the moonrise. They break their fast only after seeing the moon.