It’s that time of the year, when all the married women across the northern parts of India fasts the entire day for the wellbeing and long life of their husbands. Also known as Karaka Chaturthi, Karwa Chauth is a one-day festival celebrated in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Some celebrate this festival as grand and lavish as shown in movies and TV serials while some love to celebrate the festival with just their loved ones. The best part of this festival is that women receive special karwa chauth gifts such as flowers, cosmetic hampers, or a decorative pooja thali.
Date & Timings of the Festival
As per the Hindu Calendar, Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day of ‘Krishna Paksha’ in the Hindu month of ‘Kartika’. This year, the festival is said to be celebrated on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Also, the duration of puja is 1 hour 14 minutes which starts at 05:59 PM and ends at 07:14 PM.
The fasting of Karwa Chauth follows strict restrictions, where the married women cannot swallow a single food grain after the sunrise and can only break the fast after the sighting of the moon. Although the festival looks quite difficult, it is more joyful and cheerful as the entire family unite together and perform all the rituals with joy.
Rituals of the Festival
The century old traditions and rituals is what makes this festival a fun and exciting experience. So, below, we have compiled a list of some interesting rituals performed on the day of Karwa Chauth.
A day before the festival, all the married women receive karwa chauth gifts, one among them is the traditional sargi prepared by her mother-in-law. Basically, the sargi given to the daughter-in-law include food to be eaten before starting the fast. The food is usually a combination of some milk-based sweets or mithai, salty and fried snacks called Mathri and some dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds, etc.
Baya is a gift given by the mother of a newly married daughter to the mother-in-law, as an emblem of love. Baya generally includes fancy clothes, jewellery, cosmetics, sweets, sindoor, money, etc. The women after receiving the baya, dress up in bright trendy clothes, and apply mehendi and sindoor which represents a married Indian woman.
3. The recitation of the story
Five hours before the sighting of the moon, all the women unite together and adorn the puja area with beautiful flowers along with the idol of Maa Parvathi. The traditional story of Karwa Chauth is narrated to all the married women and after the narration a prayer is recited for the well-being and harmony of the husband. Finally, all the women sing the holy hymn by passing their karwa chauth thali in a circle.
4. Breaking of the fast
After the moon rises, the woman starts lighting the diyas and fills the karva (container) with water, placed in the karwa chauth thali. Soon after that, they view the moon through a sieve and offer water to the moon. Through the same sieve, they look at their husband and recite a prayer for the marital bliss and long life of their husband. After that, the husband is said to break the fast of his wife by feeding her mithai or by making her drink a sip of water.