Karwa Chauth | Karva Chauth | Karvachauth | Karwachauth

Karwa Chauth is observed on the chauth of the Kirshna Paksha of Ashwin month as per the lunar calendar or  Kartik Mas as per the solar calendar. The fourth day of the waning phase of the moon in the month of Ashwin is observed as Karva Chauth.

Meaning of Karva Chauth or Karwa Chauth

Karwa or Karva means a earthly pot and Chauth is the fourth. On the day of Karvachauth it is tradition to exchange or distribute earthly pots with all the different accessories that a married women would normally wear like mehndi, kum kum, bangles etc. Because the earthly pots are exchanged and the day on which it is done is fourth day, it came to be known as Karwachauth or Karva Chauth.

Tradition of Karwa Chauth or Karva Chauth

Preparations for Karwa chauth

Women would start preparations atleast a week before for Karvachauth . They start buying the earthen pots and the other accessories of women like bangles, kum kum, mehndi etc for distributing. They also apply Mehindi on their hands and legs. New sarees are bought or the saree that is worn for Marriage is worn again. The color of the new sarees  would be of red shade or orange shade with lot of zari work.

Fasting on Karwa Chauth or Karva Chauth

Married women get up early in the morning before sunrise and take a head bath. Women worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi along with Ganesha and others. Women would eat a food called ‘Sargi’ before the Sun rises.

What should Mother in Laws Do on Karva Chauth or Karwa Chauth

It is a tradition that if the mother in law stays with the family then Sargi and other food items like Feni are prepared by the Mother in law and she would feed the daughter in law. There is also a tradition in some places of giving a Baya or a basket with sweets to the daughter in law. This Baya is given in the evening by the Mother in law to daughter in law.

In few places like Uttar Pradesh women eat Soot Feni along with milk while sugar is added for taste on the day before of Karva Chauth.

Fasting starts from the time when the sun rises and last until the moon is visible. It is a common practice that women would not even drink a drop of water during the fast and is followed very strictly.

The fast is broken only after seeing the Moon through Sieve. The immediate person they would see after seeing the Moon is ones husband through the Sieve.

Then pooja is done to the Moon and water is offered to the Moon. By doing this they break the fast.

Tradition of celebrating Karva Chauth or Karwa Chauth

Before Sunrise

Women would eat before the sunrise and observe a strict fast through out the day until Moon is sighted. Before the Moon appears and just at sun set all the women would gather and would observe few traditions and perform pooja.

In ancient times, Goddess Gauri was prepared from cow dung and worshipped during the sun set time. Then Faris or Pharis are done.

Faris or Pharis on Karva Chauth or Karwa Chauth

Faris or Pharis is nothing but, women would sit in the form of a circle and keep passing their Thalis or Pooja Plates among themselves. During this process songs are sung which would describe the process of observing Karvachauth and Dos and Donts of Karwa Chauth.

In Punjab, the song of Karva Chauth is sung seven times. Six songs would inform the women on the Dos and Donts while observing the fast and the seventh song would tell about lifting of the restriction after the fast is concluded.

Exchanging of Karwa or Karva

Karva or Karwas (earthly pots) are exchanged for seven times between the women. In Rajasthan women are asked ‘Dhai’ before exchange and the other women would reply ‘Suhaag Naa Dhai’.

While singing songs , exchanging Karwas etc are done the Karva Chauth story is told by a elderly women in the group. Women would light up the diya in the earthern vessel or pot in the Thali while listening to the stories. The Thalli would also consist of Sindoor, rice and incense sticks.

Once the Pharis, story telling are done women wait for the Moon to rise so that they can break the fast.

Process of seeing the Moon on Karva Chauth or Karwa Chauth

Once the Moon rises, the women would see the reflection of the moon in a vessel filled with water through a Sieve or Chalini or a Duppata, and then immediately see the reflection of their husband in the same vessel containing the water through the Sieve or Duppatta.

In few places, the Moon is seen directly through the Cahlini or Sieve or Duppatta and immediately after seeing the Moon, the  husband is seen.

As they see the Moon, Argya is given to the Moon and women would pray for a long life of their husband. Argya is nothing but pouring water with full devotion seeing the moon.

Reason for Seeing through the Sieve or Duppata or Chalini

It is believed that the married life of the women would last happily for as many years as through how may different holes or pores the women sees her husband. Hence a Sieve or Chalini or Dupatta which is used in separating the flour and whose net is closely knit is used.

Seeing from a sieve is believed to remove the evil effects if any on the husband.

How to break the fast of Karwa Chauth or Karva Chauth

After seeing the Moon and giving Arghya, husband is seen. Once this process is done the next thing is to break the fast. Husbands would normally offer the first sip of water followed by feeding the wife with a sweet. This would show the affection between husband and wife.

Now a days even the husbands are fasting along with the wife and hence the bonding is increases by observing Karva Chauth or Karwa Chauth.

Once the whole ritual is done it is feasting time and all the members of the family would come together and have a sumptuous meal where lots of variety of traditional sweets and dishes are prepared.

Benefits of observing Karwa Chauth or Karva Chauth

Karwa Chauth is observed by a lady praying  for a long life of her husband. It is believed that by observing Karwa Chauth they would live happily with all their worries, sorrows removed and would enjoy a very happy and prosperous life together.

Karwa Chauth is a tradition that would help in bringing husband and wife much closer and increase the bonding between them.

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