India is known to be the land of festivals. Indians love celebrating everything in life. From Gods and Goddesses to seasons to relations etc. we have dedicated days in a year to honor the importance of everything we experience in our lifetime. Today also the country is celebrating a festival known as Karwa Chauth. The team of Mysticadii takes immense pleasure in wishing all of you a very happy Karwa Chauth. The tradition of Karwa Chauth has been practiced in India since ancient times. The festival honors the relation served between a man and his wife. This festival is majorly celebrated by married women. Married women on this day pray for their husband's long and healthy life. Let us hear a few legends associated with this festival.
Once upon a time, there was a queen named Veeravati. Veeravati had seven brothers and all her brothers loved her dearly as she was the only sister. After marriage Veeravati celebrated her 1st Karwa Chauth by fasting for her husband. However, fasting was very tough for her as she had never gone without food until this day. By evening she got very weak and fainted. Her brothers could not bear the sight of her pain and hence decided to trick her. They lit a lamp on a Pipal tree which gave a false effect of moonlight. They lied to her that the moon was up. Veeravati broke her fast and ate her meal. As soon as she ate the food she got to know that her husband was dead. She became inconsolable and blamed herself thinking she might have done something wrong. Her pain gave her immense strength and she was able to invoke Goddess Parvati. Parvati told her that she was tricked into breaking her fast by her brothers. Parvati cut her finger and gave Veeravati some of her blood. Veeravati then sprinkled the precious blood of the Goddess on her husband's dead body. This brought him back to life.
Karwa Chauth has been mentioned in the epic tale of Mahabharata as well. Draupadi who was married to Pandavas had observed this fast for Arjuna. Arjuna had gone to the hills of Nigiris for penance. Draupadi conducted the rituals of Karwa Chauth for his safety. Some other legends suggest that Shiva after getting married to Parvati narrated the story of Karwa Chauth to her and Parvati started observing the same for Shiva
Mostly this festival was celebrated in the Northwestern part of India. However today the entire country celebrates it with much vigor and passion. Married women on this day fast from sunrise to moonrise. They do not even consume water during the entire day. Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the 4th day after the full moon in the month of Kartik. Like many other festivals, this festival is also based on the lunisolar calendar which is the Hindu way of tracking months in a year. The rituals for this day starts before the sunrise. Women wake up before the sunrise and consume food prepared by their mother-in-law. This custom is known as Sargi. After this,women fast for the entire day. Karwa means a clay pot and Chauth means 4th. In a lot of households, women hand paint these clay pots and fill them with a lot of goodies like cosmetics, sweets, a piece of cloth, etc. They also dress up as brides. Women meet their girl friends during the day and refrain from doing household chores. In the evening women gather and sit in a circle. The puja starts by exchanging the Karwas or the clay pots. After this women listen to the story of Karwa Chauth. They also sing songs together. In a lot of ways Karwa Chauth also helps in bringing the women folk together and honor their friendship and sisterhood. After this event, they wait for the moonrise. Upon moonrise, they offer their prayers to the Moon Deity and then see the reflection of the moon in a vessel filled with water through a sieve. After this, the husbands come forward and offer water to their wives to break their day-long fast. After this, the whole family comes together to enjoy a delicious dinner.The festival also serves in knitting the family together and celebrating togetherness.
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