In Hinduism, Karwa Chauth has great importance. The Hindu ladies fast from the sunrise to the moonrise for their husbands. It is a difficult fast as the ladies have to spend one entire day without food and water. Karwa Chauth is majorly celebrated in the northern region of India.
Here are some important rituals that are performed during Karwa Chauth:
Sargi is a meal prepared by mother-in-law for her daughter-in-law. Sargi is consumed before the dawn of Karwa Chauth. The bond between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is strengthened with Sargi.
Sargi contains Pheni, Matthi, dry fruits, fresh fruits, sweets. Sometimes items like sindoor, saree, and jewelry are also sent along with the thali.
The mothers of married daughters send Baya on Karwa Chauth. Baya includes sweets, money, clothes, and Karwa which is a small earthen pitcher. In the evening, the Baya is accepted by the mother-in-law or an elderly woman of the house.
From the afternoon itself, the fasting women start the preparation. Married ladies wear heavy ornaments, a bridal saree embellished with henna on their hands and feet.
In the evening, the Pooja begins. The Pooja place is decorated with an idol of Goddess Parvathi. A few hours before the moon rises, the traditional story of Karwa Chauth is narrated. The story of Veervati!
There was a beautiful queen called Veervati. She was the most pampered family member as she was the only sister amongst the seven brothers. On the occasion of Karwa Chauth, she was at her parent’s home. She began fast after sunrise. However, during evening her body could not take the stress. But she was adamant that she would not break her fast before the moonrise. The brothers could not see their sister in that situation. They created a mirror in the pipal tree and it looked like the moon. The moment Veervati broke her fast, the news of her husband’s demise arrived. The news tore her apart. She wept a lot. It is at this moment that a Goddess appeared in front of her and informed her that she was bluffed by her brothers.
She fasted again, wholeheartedly. Seeing her dedication and love towards her husband, Yama was pleased to return the life of her husband.
Breaking of Fast
When the moon rises in the sky, it is time to break the fast. Women lighten the diya and pour water into the karwa, which is the earthen pot placed on the Pooja thali. With the help of a sieve, the woman takes the first glimpse of the moon. Then water is offered to the moon. With the same sieve, they take a glance of their husbands. A prayer is recited asking for a long life of their husbands. After the recitation, the husband offers the first sip of water. This is how the Karwa Chauth fast is broken.
It is a beautiful festival which brings affection and a stronger bond between a husband and a wife.