Karwa Chauth Vrat
Karwa Chauth Vrat is one of the most revered and observed fast, that married women observe for the longevity of their husbands. This fast is observed all over India but specifically by the women belonging to Northern India. This year Karwa Chauth Falls on November 4, 2020, on Wednesday.
Significance of Karwa Chauth
This fast falls on the fourth day of the Kartik month after Purnima. Women fast from the morning till late in the night without taking even a drop of water. Women fast to please Lord Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh so that they bless long and healthy life to their husbands. The married women fast and pray to Ganesh for health, longevity and prosperity of their husbands, while at some places the unmarried girls fast to be blessed with a good and wealthy husband.
This is a beautiful festival of celebrating the love, togetherness and eternal bond of husband and wife who are considered the ultimate companions in the journey of life.
It is believed that Goddess Parvati observed this fast for pleasing Lord Shiva who is not bound by birth or death. From that time women started observing this fast. This fast is observed as AtlaTaddei in Andhra Pradesh.
Legends of Karwa Chauth
There are many legends associated with the tradition of fasting on the fourth day of the dark fortnight of the Kartik month.
According to one legend, Devi Parvati observed to please Lord Shiva so that she is married to a person who will always be with her. Following her, the wives of the devas started observing this fast and this is how this fast came into being.
According to another legend, the mention of this fast is also found in Mahabharata, where the Pandavas were facing extreme difficulties during their exile. Every day they had to face a new challenge. One day Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas prayed to Lord Krishna to tell her a way out of all these troubles so that her husbands can live in peace. Then Lord Krishna told her to fast on the fourth day of the dark half the Kartik month. She followed the advice and thus Pandavas could spend their exile in safety.
Celebrations on Karwa Chauth
Karwa Chauth is considered a very auspicious fast for married women. They adorn henna in various beautiful designs on their palms. They buy new clothes, new bangles and ornaments. They wear it on the evening of karwa Chauth and get dressed beautifully to attract their husbands. Nowadays women go to parlours to get ready and look beautiful.
The newlywed women are especially excited on this day. The first Karwa Chauth after the wedding has special importance. Gifts are given to the newlywed by parents and in-laws. She feels very special on this day and her husband also feel very indebted to her for fasting for his life.
Women get up early on the morning of the day and eat food called Sargi before the sunrise. After that, they do not eat or drink anything until moonrise. In the evening all women gather at a common place with their Karwas or the small earthen pots and many gifts for their mothers-in-law. They sit in circles and listen to the story of Karwa Chauth called Katha and sing together. They move their karwas clock-wise and when the karwa comes back to the owner the round is considered completed. In the end they pray to Lord Ganesha, Parvati and Shiva. After coming back to their homes, they wait for the moon to rise. Once the moon is in the sky, they worship the Moon and pray for the long life of their husbands. Then the family together eat food and make merry.
The purpose of starting this fast was to make husband and wife understand their importance in the life of each other. Wife fasts to show her husband how much she can sacrifice for him, and the husband understands that no one else than his wife can sacrifice pleasures and luxuries for him, so he ought to respect her and love her unconditionally.