Karva Chauth is celebrated on the 4th day of the dark half in Hindu month Kartik. On this Karva Chauth day, married women keep fast to prolong the life of their husband. Those who are unmarried, keep this fast to get a good husband in future. Ceremony of Karwa Chauth is celebrated with great zeal and gusto in North India.
Karva Chauth Vrat Rules
- The fast begins before the sunrise and runs till the visibility of Moon. Only after the view of Moon, this fast is considered complete and one can have food.
- In the evening, One hour before the Moonrise, the family of Shiva (Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Ganesh Ji, and Kartikeya Ji, Nandi,) is worship.
- The statues or pictures of the gods should face west direction while worshiping; whereas, the worshiper should sit facing the east.
Karva Chauth Katha: The Legend
As per the legend of Karva Chauth Vrat Katha, a moneylender had seven sons and one daughter named Karva. On the day of this festival, Karva observed fast. At night, when everyone sat for the dinner, brothers of Karva insisted her to consume as well. But, she disowned because Moon had still not arise and she could have food only after giving Arghya (offering water) to the Moon. Her brothers couldn’t see the condition of their starving sister who had not even taken a single drop of water since dawn. The small brother planned to trick her by lighting a lamp behind the leaves of a Peepal tree, giving an illusion of the Moon. He convinced his sister that the Moon has raised and now she can have food. She got tricked and had a bite of food. As soon as she took the bite, the news of her husband’s dying came. Inconsolable, she kept the body of her husband till one year and kept on collecting the grass growing over the dead. Next year, when Karva Chauth came again on the fourth day of the dark half in the month of Kartik, she kept the fast again follow all the rituals correctly; and, Karva Chauth story says, her husband came to life.
Pooja Vidhi for Karva Chauth Vrat
- In the early morning wake up, get ready, and clean the worshiping place. After that, take the food given by mother-in-law. Then worship the god and take the resolution of keeping a fast without water.
- The fast should be completed only after sunset, after Moon sighting. During the fast, not even a single drop of water should be taken.
- In the evening, place the statue or pictures of gods and goddesses over an earthen stage. Keep Ten to 13 special earthen stoups for Karva Chauth (known as “Karva” in Hindi and Punjabi) as well.
- Take a plate for worshiping and put Dhoop (incense), Chandan (sandalwood paste), Deep (wick lamp), Roli (powder made by mixing turmeric and slaked lime), Sindoor (vermillion), etc. into it. The lamp should have enough Ghee (purified butter) that the wick can light for a longer term of time.
- The worship should begin one hour prior to the Moon sighting. It will be good if all the women of the family could worship together.
- Recite the Karva Chauth Katha during the worship.
- The Moon sighting should be done through sieve. Offering Arghya (giving water)to the Moon and worship Him.
- After Moon rising, the daughter-in-law takes the blessing of the mother-in-law after offering her a decorated plate with sweets, dried fruits, fruits, money, etc. The mother-in-law blesses her with the boon of eternal good luck.
Sargi in Karva Chauth
The Karva Chauth festival in Punjab begins with the Sargi. It is consisted of a special meal taken by the women before the dawn on the day of Karwa Chauth. The main part of the meal is made of vermicelli. If the fast observing woman has her mother-in-law in the home, Sargi is cooked by the mother-in-law. In the evening, fasting women get together to do the ritual of Feri. They come along with their worship plates and sit in a circle. Further, they rotate their Thalis (plates) in the circle while reciting the Karva Chauth Katha (story). In some parts of the country such as UP and Rajasthan, women worship Gaur Mata. The idol of Gaur Mata is generally by cow dung.
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