Welcome to India, with its amalgamation of traditions, spiritual beliefs, festivals, architecture and more, India will stay in your heart for long.
India is a country of colorful festivals and great rituals.
From east to west, north to south, there are zillions of festivals celebrated. Right after celebrating the nine-day long festival of Navratri, the wait and craze for Karwa Chauth and Diwali have already begun.
Karwa Chauth is mostly celebrated in the northern part of India.
Karwa Chauth is celebrated with fervor and great enthusiasm among married women.
During the whole day, women keep a ‘nirjala‘ fast — fasting where water isn’t consumed from sunrise till moonrise. Women consume pre-dawn meal known as sargi and drink or eat again straight after sighting and making offerings to the moon in the evening. The idea behind celebrating this festival is to pray for the well-being, prosperity, and longevity of their husband’s lives.
Karva Chauth is made of two words, Karva means an earthen oil lamp and Chauth means four. The day of Karva Chauth is celebrated close to Diwali, exactly falls on the fourth day of the month of Kartik. The Kartik month celebrates the harvest time, where it is a time for meeting people and celebration. The Karva Chauth is a festival that celebrates the beautiful bond between a husband and wife celebrating togetherness, love, and long-life.
Women also worship Goddess Parvati in the Karwa Chauth puja followed by Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, and Lord Kartikeya. The fast is later broken after looking at the moon.
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According to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day after the full moon in the month
of Kartik. This year, Karva Chauth is on Thursday,
October 17, 2019.
Why Is Karwa Chauth Celebrated?
During the day of Karva Chauth, married women worship and pray Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva and wish for their husbands’ long life and well-being. All the ladies dress up in ethnic attire, adorn themselves with solha (16) shringar, like sindoor and jewelry, and apply henna signifying good luck. On Karva Chauth, before sunset, women dress up and gather in a group to read Vrat Katha.
The day is usually celebrated to make good friendships and sisterhood. During the olden times, girls were married at a very young age and were sent to stay with their in-laws. As they were young and were asked to stay with their in-laws, they would become lonely and would have no one to share their problems with. Earlier, on the wedding day, a small ritual was conducted, where one woman would become the bride’s godsister for a lifetime.
These women were said to be the soul sisters for a lifetime and they shared a sanctified bond of a great friendship. The made God sister would share all the problems and would empathize with the bride in times of her stress, troubles, and hardships, they would very comfortably share problems with each other. Hence the festival of Karva Chauth was created to celebrate friendship, sisterhood, and togetherness. See how can you steal the show on the festive day with your makeup
Karva Chauth was the festival to celebrate relationships, but with changing times, the festival became a fast kept by married women for the wellbeing and longevity of their husbands.
The legends associated with Karva Chauth:
There are a number of legends associated with the origin of the festival. We will be discussing some of the famous legends and fables associated with the festival.
Legend of Karva:
Karva Chauth has been associated with the legend of Karva. Karva, a married woman deeply loved her husband. One fine day his husband went to take a bath in the river. A crocodile caught him, hearing him scream Karva rushed to her husband. After seeing the crocodile, she had a cotton yarn in her hand. She bounded into the crocodile with the cotton yarn and rushed towards Lord of Death, Yama. She requested Yama to send the crocodile to hell. Yama refused to do so. Karwa being angry, threatened to curse him. Yama agreed to her request and sent the creature to hell. Yama also blessed Karwa’s husband with long life.
The Legend of Satyavan and Savitri:
The legend of Satyavan and Savritri is another famous one associated with the festival. It states that one day, Lord Yama came to take away Satyavan‘s soul. At that point, of time, Satyavan’s wife begged Lord Yama to leave him, but he denied. Being angry and disappointed, Savitri gave up food and water. Seeing her in this state, Lord Yama granted her to wish anything leaving her husband’s life. She wished for children, for fulfilling her wish Lord Yama had to bring her husband back to life.
The legend of Veeravati:
Years ago, there was a queen named Veeravati. She had blessed with seven loving brothers. She was married to a king. On her first Karva Chauth, Veeravati went to her parent’s home to observe the fast. She waited desperately and long for the moon to appear to break her fast. Her brother seeing her in distress planned to trick her by reflecting a mirror through the papal leaves. As soon as Veeravati saw the light, she believed it was the moon. She broke her fast by taking some food and water. As soon as she broke the fast, she received the news of her husband being ill.
She left for the place while going to the palace Lord ‘Shiva’ and Goddess ‘Parvati’ met her. Goddess Parvati told Veeravati about the fact that her husband had departed due to her breaking the fast after seeing the false moon. The queen asked for forgiveness, Goddess blessed with a boon that her king would be alive if only she could keep Karwa Chauth following all the rituals again. Veeravati agreed and followed the orders, which revived her husband.
Why Solah Shringar ?
Indian culture is all about rich traditions, yearlong festivities, and customs and authentic values. One such custom is solha shringar. All the occasions particularly during Karva Chauth, the importance of solah shringar increases. Solah Shringar unquestionably is very significant. Each of these Shringar’s is believed to enhance the girl’s beauty and establish her in the Goddess-like aura.
Discover the significance of 16 shringar on this Karva Chauth
1. Bindi: – The tradition of wearing bindi came from the Hindu religion. It has referred to the colored dot that women wear at the center of their forehead. It retains the energy and signifies luck and prosperity.
2. Sindoor: – Sindoor denoted to marriage and the well-being of the husband. It is customary to apply sindoor for all married women. Sindoor has many values attached to it and declared to be the most significant cosmetic.
3. Maang Tikka: – Maang tikka is the first hair accessory that adorns the women forehead. It is usually made of gold or silver, studded with precious stones. It not just increases the charm but also enhances the beauty of a woman.
4. Kajal: – To make the beautiful eyes attractive kajal is applied on the edges of the eyelids. It’s made by collecting the soot of an earthen lamp by lighting a wick in clarified butter or ghee.
5. Nath or Nose Ornament: – Nose ring has a symbolic meaning in Indian culture. It is worn on the left side of the nose only. My nose piercing in our culture Hindus honors Parvathi, the goddess of marriage.
6. Mangalsutra: – Jewelry has always been an important part of our culture and Mangalsutra is the symbol of prosperity. It is made of gold and black beads given by the husbands to their wives.
7. Earrings: – The tradition of wearing earrings is considered to be auspicious in our culture. Usually, these made out of Gold and silver. However, Diamond, Kundan, and Meenakari are also popular choices.
8. Mehendi: – Mehendi represents celebrations. It signifies joy, beauty, and offerings. It is considered to be auspicious. It is customary to apply Mehendi on festivals like Karva Chauth, Holi, and Diwali.
9. Bangles: – It is essential for the bride to don both gold and glass bangles, which imply the long life and accomplishment of her groom. It also signifies the prosperity of the family.
10. Armlet: – Armband is an ornament to be worn on the upper arms. It is either made of gold or silver embellished with gems or pearls.
11. Haathphool: – Haathphool are the eight rings attached to a central flower. Earlier, the brides had veils that did not give them an opportunity to see their husband hence with haathphool they use to wear Aarsi the thumb ring to see their groom.
12. Hair Accessory: – As per traditions Jasmine flowers are used for their long-lasting fragrance with gold or silver Jewellery.
13. Waist Accessory: – The waist ornament Kardhani is also known as Kamarband, worn around the waist by married Indian women. It enhances the graceful shape of a female silhouette. It’s made out of gold embellished with precious gems.
14. Payal & Bichuas: – It is customary for a married woman to wear both as it signifies the entry of Goddess Lakshmi. These are either made in silver or gold.
15. Perfume:- Fragrance is another major element of the Solah Shringar. It enhances the mood and helps lift your spirits.
16:- Traditional Dress:- The traditional color dress completes the Solah Shringar as it reflects the religious identity and complements the look.
The Solah Shringar ritual has changed in the present day scenario yet holds the same value.
Rituals of Karva Chauth:
The fast starts from dawn, where women eat “sargi” a meal prepared by her mother in law in the morning. After eating the Sargi, women stay without consuming water and food all day long until the moon rises. The mornings are usually indulged in community gatherings, putting henna on hand, etc. In the evening, there is a prayer that is offered by all the women for the long life and well-being of their husbands. The fast is called off once the moon appears. The women observe the moon through a strainer and then the husband is seen through the same strainer. The husband gives water and sweets to the wife opening her fast.
Karva Chauth Pooja and Moonsighting Timing
- Moonrise time – 08:16 pm
- Chaturthi Tithi – From 6:48 am on October 17, 2019, till 07:29 am on October 18, 2019
- Karwa Chauth Pooja Muhurat – From 05:46 pm till 07:02 pm (1 hour 16 minutes)
- Karwa Chauth Upavasa time – From 06:27 am till 08:16 pm (13 hours and 50 minutes)
May this Karva Chauth bring a long life to your husband and a lot of glory and blessing to you! Dress up to the fullest, do all the solah shringars and bring out the most beautiful version of yourself.
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