Today is Karwa Chauth in INDIA , a day of fasting by wives for the welfare of their husbands,
Did you fast today?
Karwa Chauth’ is a ritual of fasting observed by married Hindu women seeking the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands. It is popular amongst married women in the northern and western parts of India, especially, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
The term ‘Chauth’ means the ‘fourth day’ and ‘Karwa’ is an earthen pot with a spout – a symbol of peace and prosperity – that is necessary for the rituals. Hence the name ‘Karwa Chauth’.
Married women keep a strict fast and do not take even a drop of water. They get up early in the morning, perform their ablutions, and wear new and festive raiment. Shiva, Parvati and their son Kartikeya are worshiped on this day along with the 10 ‘karwas’ (earthen pots) filled with sweets. The Karwas are given to daughters and sisters along with gifts.
It is the most important and difficult fast observed by married Hindu women. (Unmarried women, widows, and spinsters are barred from observing this fast.) It begins before sunrise and ends only after offering prayers and worshiping the moon at night. No food or water can be taken after sunrise. The fast is broken once the moon is sighted and rituals of the day have been performed. At night when the moon appears, women break their fast after offering water to the moon.
Karwa chauth is an important festival for married women, dedicated to their husband’s long life and prosperity. The rituals start one day before the festival, when the mother-in-law gives ‘sargi’ to her daughter-in-law. Sargi consist of mehndi, sindoor, bindi, red ribbon, coconut, saviya, sweets, almonds, etc. Henna or mehndi forms an important part of karva chauth and applying it on hands and feet is considered to be auspicious for married women. It is also said that the darker the color of mehndi is, the more love and care a woman will get from her husband.
Karwa Chauth Mehndi(henna)
Karwa chauth is one of the occasions when the henna business is at its peak. There are various ways of applying henna paste. On this day, each and every married woman gets henna designs made on her hands and, in some cases, feet as well. The women use toothpick or cones for the purpose, according to their convenience. Using cone is the best method, as they are disposable, less messy and inexpensive too. The best part is that these cones can be easily made at home, by following simple steps. If you want to explore the process of making cones as well as applying mehndi, check out the following lines.
This festival comes 9 days before Diwali on ‘kartik ki chauth’, i.e., on the fourth day of the new moon immediately after Dusshera, in the month of ‘Karthik’ (October-November).