of Karva Chauth :
A popular legend of Karva Chauth narrates the story of queen
. The queen broke her fast looking at the false moon shown
by her loving brothers who could not see their sister taking a rigorous
fast. But as soon as Veeravati had her dinner husband died. Goddess
Parvati tells her that her husband died as she did not keep the fast
properly. When Veeravati begged forgiveness, Parvati granted that her
husband would revive only when she completes her fast under strict
conditions. The queen observed the fast and thus revived the life of her
Another popular legend tells the story of Savitri and Satyavan
Once Yamraj - the God of Death came to take Satyavan's life. Savitri -
the devoted wife of Satyavan pleaded for her husbands life which Yamraj
refused. Savitri went on a fast and refused to eat or drink. Looking at
her devotion, Yamraj was forced to grant life to Satyavan. Since then
women started keeping fast for their husband's long life.
Karva Chauth Rituals :
On the day of Karva Chauth married women wake up before dawn. They take
bath and invoke blessings of Goddess Parvati for their husband's long
life. Women are then given a sumptuous meal called 'Sargi' by
mother-in-law. After the Sargi women are not supposed to take any form
of food or liquid. During the day mother of the women comes with 'baya'
consisting of goodies and saree. This is meant for the mother-in-law.
The most joyous part of Karva Chauth celebrations is the Puja held in
the evening. A large number of elegantly dressed women gather in a
temple or in somebody's house for Puja. Women pray to Goddess Parvati or
Gaura Ma for the well being and long life of their husbands. A small
pitcher called Karva is placed in the centre of the courtyard where Puja
is performed. An elderly lady narrates the story of Karva Chauth and
intermittently women rotate the thalis containing Baya and sing a song
related to the occasion.
After the Puja begins a desperate wait for the moon rise. When the moon
rise women look at it through a sieve and offer prayers. She is then
given morsel of food and sip of water by her husband. This of course is
followed by a much deserved heavy dinner.
Karva Chauth Celebrations :
This very traditional ritual has turned into a full fledged festival
today. There is huge excitement a day before the festival as women make
elaborate preparations to dress up elaborately for the occasion. Bangle
sellers and henna artists get huge business a day before the festival.
These days restaurant too see a massive dinner rush as women prefer to
take a meal outside after the rigorous fast. The excitement of the
festival is greater for women observing their first fast after marriage.