Karwa Chauth is celebrated with a lot of fun, gaiety and enthusiasm across North India. This year Karwa Chauth will be celebrated by married Hindu woman on Saturday. The festival is observed on the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in the month of Kartik as per the Hindu calendar. According to Mahabharata, Karwa Chauth can be traced back to the time when Savitri begged the god of death, Lord Yama, for her husband’s soul.
On Karva Chauth, married women observe a nirjala vrat (fast without food and water) from sunrise to moonrise for the well-being, prosperity and the long life of their husbands. Sargi is an important tradition of Karwa chauth. Women are given sargi, a sweet dish fenia, by their mother-in-law. It is a pre-dawn meal and is given to them to sustain all day long fast.
Women usually meet their relatives, friends during the day. In some parts of the country, women also exchange gifts, such as bangles, cosmetics, handkerchief put in karwas, with their married female friends. Women are usually dressed in bridal fineries and pick red, orange, gold, pink colours, as these are considered auspicious. They get henna or mehndi applied on their palms and feet and look their best self on this day.
In afternoon, a woman-only ceremony is performed in which women of a neighbourhood including their other friends sit in a circle and exchange pooja thalis. Depending on the region, a version of the Karwa Chauth tale is narrated by an older woman or a priestest.
This year ‘s puja Mahurat on Karwa Chauth starts at 05:48 pm and ends at 07:04 pm. The moon will rise at 08:15 pm in the national capital on Saturday. The Chaturthi Tithi on Karwa Chauth will begin on the October 27 at 06:37 pm and end at 04:54 pm on October 28.
Breaking the fast
Women who observe Karva Chauth, break the fast only after offering prayers to the moon and see its reflection in a vessel filled with water, or through a cloth/ dupatta, or through a sieve. Water or arka is offered to moon. They then turn towards their husband and see them indirectly. The husband offers a sip of water to his wife and also a bite of a sweet from the pooja thali to break her fast.
Why do women see the moon through a sieve?
Have you ever wondered why women see the moon on Karwa Chauth through sieve only? Well, there are many old beliefs behind this particular ritual. According to a strong North Indian belief, the moon on Karva Chauth is the moon of Kartik and is a form of Lord Shiva and his son Lord Ganesha. Also, women in North India wear ghoongat as a mark of respect for elders. Hence, the sieve covers their face as a symbol of married women paying respect to the moon. While it is also believed that it is a prayer to the Karwa Chauth moon to show its filtered rays. The filtered rays signify the blessings of only happiness and good in life. So, now you know the secret of sieve.
Here's wishing every one a very happy Karwa Chauth and hope women get all the attention and love they deserve from their husbands on this day and every day.