Karwa Chauth is a festival in which ladies are perform this ritual in traditional attire with a thali in hand and wait for the arrival of the moon to worship goddess for husband’s well-being and long-life.
Karwa Chauth Puja – Tradition for Married Women
Karwa Chauth basically is a North Indian custom where almost half of India participates and thus it has rooted in other parts of the country too. Anyone can perform this ritual irrespective of any religion and caste.
Generally, this festival falls in the month of October or November and this year Karvachauth is to be celebrated on 27th October 2018 i.e. luckily on Saturday.
All About Karwachauth
Karvachauth is a Hindu festival celebrated by married women for longevity and protection of their husbands. They keep fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day.
This fast is widely celebrated in northern states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab.
Karwa Chauth falls on the fourth day of full moon in the month of Kartik as per Hindu Lunisolar calendar. However, it is for married but sometimes unmarried girls also join the puja for desired husband or fiancé.
Origin of Karvachauth
Karva in Hindi is called as a pot and Chauth means the fourth day. Therefore Karvachauth falls on Krishna Paksha fortnight in Kartika month and is performed with a clay pot.
This festival came into existence in the northwest region of India. A tale recites that military campaigns were far off and soldiers use to leave their wife and family for country’s safety and wife always prayed to god for their safe return.
This was at wheat sowing term when Rabi crop is harvested. Thus big earthen pots were settled to store the wheat. Hence this festival was also termed as worship of Karva for good harvest in wheat growing areas.
Another story states that women used to tie arranged marriage knot and has to stay with the new in-laws family and they all were strangers to her. Thus this festival was brought in custom for them to make new friends (Kangan Saheli) or (Dharam Behn) for life.
Their friendship will be sanctified through this Hindu ritual each year. The bride friend should be from the same village, married and from different community i.e. not directly related to her in-law’s side. Hence to celebrate this bonding Karwa Chauth was evolved.
Before few days women buy Karvas and decorate them with bright colors and designs. Karva is filled with bangles, bindi, homemade sweets and makeup items and exchanges these clay pots on Karvachauth puja.
Karwachauth Date and Timings 2018
As per Hindu Calendar this year Karwa Chauth 2018 is on 27th of October and its puja timings are as follows-
Karwachauth puja starts- 17.36pm
Karwachauth puja ends-18.54pm
Whole puja duration- 1 hour 17 minutes
Moonrise in Karwachauth- 8.00pm
This calendar is also followed in Ashwin month by Gujarat, and Southern India through this festival is mainly popular in northern regions.
Karwa Chauth Rituals
Preparations of Karwachauth rite begin with great keenness before many days of the festival with buying ornaments, shringar, karva, bangles, new clothes, matthi, heena and decorated thali (plate). Shopkeepers put all their selling items on display before few days of the festival.
In Punjab, women woke early before sunrise and eat Sargi. In Uttar Pradesh women eat sooth feni in milk and sugar in the evening. In Punjab, Sargi is holds a significant place in the custom and is a predawn meal which includes fruits and Feniya. Traditionally it is prepared by mother in law of fasting women and if she is far then she sent all meal in one thali.
The fast begins in dawn and women do not eat anything whole day and does no housework. Women gather in a community hall or homes and apply henna to one another. The day passes by meeting people and singing songs. Parents send Gifts to their daughter and family.
In the evening women’s gather in community halls and dress up like newlyweds. They wear henna, and dresses of their marriage. Dresses are usually of gold or orange color salwar suits which are considered auspicious. In U.P. women wear red color sarees or lehenga and sit in a circle with puja thalis.
As per cultures different stories are narrated during puja and the storyteller is amongst women, sometimes the priest is also called to commence puja rituals. After puja devotees form a circle (feris) and chant songs.
First six feris describes the proscribed of the marriage and the last one is about lifting those conclusions that describes fast.
For first six feris (circle) they sing following lines-
…Veero kudiye Karvara, Sarv suhagan Karvara, Aye katti naya teri naa, Kumbh chrakhra feri naa, Aar pair payeen naa, Ruthda maniyen naa, Suthra jagayeen naa, Ve veero kuriye Karvara, Ve sarv suhagan Karvara…
And seventh last feri stanza is
…Veero kudiye Karvara, Sarv suhagan Karvara, Aye katti naya teri nee, Kumbh chrakhra feri bhee, Aar pair payeen bhee, Ruthda maniyen bhee, Suthra jagayeen bhee, Ve veero kuriye Karvara, Ve sarv suhagan Karvara…
In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan women exchange karvas seven times between themselves and before exchanging water they ask seven times Dhapi Ki Ni Dhapi to which she responds Jal Se Dhapi Suhaag Se Na Dhapi which means one asks are you satiated and other answers satiated with water, not with the love of my husband.
In UP they worship the earth in the form of Gaur Mata. Some soil is taken and by sprinkling some water Mata is formed then puja is instigated. They listen to Karva stories and exchange clay pots. Later by seeing the moon and then-husband they open their fast.
The story of Beejabati or Veervati is narrated by a priest or older women which is listened by all ladies. Gauri, Shankar and Ganesha idols are made from soil and then worshipped with kumkum, flowers, and offerings. These lines are sung seven times
…Sadaa suhagan karve lo, Pati ki pyari karve lo, Saat bhaiyon ke behen karve lo, Vart karni karve lo, Saas ki pyaari karve lo…
After the puja, they wait for the moon to arrive with sieve and puja thali in hand. The first moon is seen through sieve and puja is done from same sieve husband’s face is seen and his puja is done. Then he offers water to the wife and makes her eat sweets from the thali and break her fast.
Story of Karwa Chauth (Karva Chauth Katha)
“A long long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess by the name of Veeravati. When she was of the marriageable age, Veeravati was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents’ house.”
“After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, the queen was too delicate and couldn’t stand the rigours of fasting. By evening, Veeravati was too weak, and fainted. Now, the queen had seven brothers who loved her dearly.
They couldn’t stand the plight of their sister and decided to end her fast by deceiving her. They made a fire at the nearby hill and asked their sister to see the glow. They assured her that it was the moonlight and since the moon had risen, she could break her fast.”
“However, the moment the gullible queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband, the king, was dead. The queen was heartbroken and rushed to her husband’s palace. On the way, she met Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati.
Parvati informed her that the king had died because the queen had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon that the king would be revived but would be ill.”
“When the queen reached the palace, she found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles inserted in his body. Each day, the queen managed to remove one needle from the king’s body. Next year, on the day of Karva Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king.”
“The queen observed a strict fast that day and when she went to the market to buy the karva for the puja , her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid.”
“However, Veeravati was true to her faith and religiously observed the Karva Chauth vrat . Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen (now turned maid) if she wanted anything.
The queen asked for a pair of identical dolls. The king obliged and the queen kept singing a song ” Roli ki Goli ho gayi… Goli ki Roli ho gayi “(the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen).”
“On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen to her royal status. It was only the queen’s devotion and her faith that won her husband’s affection and the blessings of Goddess Parvati.”