October 19, 2016
|Last Year (2015)||October 30th|
|Present Year (2016)||October 19th|
|Next Year (2017)||October 8th|
Karwa Chauth is a fasting ritual kept by all married Hindu women who seek the prosperity, long life, and well-being of their husbands. This festival is very famous amongst married Hindu women in the northern and western parts of India, mainly in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. Karwa Chauth day is also known as Karak Chaturthi. After four days of Karwa Chauth, married women observe Ahoi Ashtami Vrat for the well-being of sons.
When Is It Celebrated?
Karwa Chauth fasting is kept 9 days before Diwali. Karva means clay pot and chauth means fourth. According to Hindu calendar, it falls on the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi i.e. fourth day of the Kartik month. According to Amanta calendar followed in Southern India, Gujarat and Maharashtra it is Ashwin month. However, it is just the name of the month which differs with places and but in all states, Karwa Chauth is observed on the same day.
How It Is Celebrated?
Married Hindu women dedicate the day of Karwa Chauth to their husbands. Women who observe fast are called “Saubhagyavati” meaning “happy status of married women.” It is celebrated in different ways depending on the place where a person lives. Hindu married women enjoy the company and companionship of their relatives and friends.
The pooja preparations for the festival start a day in advance. During this festival, mother-in-law and mother offer jewelry, clothes, and gifts to married women. Women buy the shringar or the traditional outfits and the other pooja items like the karwa, sweets, and fruits etc. Mostly all married women wear their wedding day outfits once again.
Early in the morning they prepare food called “Sargi” and have it before sunrise. The day passes by in other festive activities like decorating hand and feet with mehndi, decorating the pooja thali and meeting friends and relatives.
In the late afternoon, women gather at a common place like a temple or a garden or someone’s’ home who has arranged the pooja. An elderly lady or the pujarin narrates the legend of Karwa Chauth to all the married women.
The essentials of this gathering and listening of the Karwa Chauth story are- a special earthen pot, a metal urn filled with water, flowers, idols of Goddess Parvati, some fruits, mathi and food grains. After listening story, a part of all this is offered to the deities and the storyteller.
The fasting of Karwa Chauth is very strict and observed without taking any food or even a drop of water after sunrise till the sighting of the moon in the night. Once the moon rises, the women see its reflection through a dupatta or a sieve or in a thali of water. They offer water known as Argha to the moon with Karwa and seek blessings. They pray for the safety and well-being of their husbands. Women break the fast after they have offered water to the moon.
This marks the end of the day-long fast.