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Famous India > Festivals in India > Karva Chauth
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Karva Chauth

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Karva Chauth is the traditional fast undertaken by the married Hindu women for the health and longevity of their husbands. The tradition of keeping Karwa Chauth fast is particularly popular in North India. Here, the day has assumed the shape of a festival. Karva Chauth falls on the fourth day of the waning moon in the month of Kartik which is the month of October - November according to Gregorian calendar. The day comes nine days before the popular festival of Diwali. Fast of Karva Chauth is quite tough as women are supposed to go without food or water for the entire day.

Karva Chauth
Karva Chauth
Karva Chauth
Karva Chauth
KarvachauthLegend of Karva Chauth :
A popular legend of Karva Chauth narrates the story of queen Veeravati. 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 husband.

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.

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