Today, Karva Chauth has become a community festival. Karva Chauth is one such occasion when most married Hindu women in North India seek the blessings of God for their husband s long life. Karva Chauth is observed on the fourth day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin, which is also called Kartik according to some calendars.
Though it is a day marked with neither food nor water, this festival is quite popular among the newly weds. A few days before the festival, markets are full of items needed for the festival. The preparations for this festival start a week in advance. Appointments are made with beauty parlors, hands are decorated with intricate Mehndi designs and jewelery and cloth merchants do a brisk business.
On this day, the women wake up before sunrise and worship Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, Kartikeya and the moon. The blessings of the Gods are invoked for longevity and prosperity of their husbands and children. Mothers-in-law give their daughters-in-law sumptuous food called Sargi to eat before sunrise, as the fast starts just before sunrise and ends only after worshiping the moon at night. It is a tough fast, as the women do not take any food or water.
In the evening, the women dress up in bridal finery. Many times, the newly wed wear their wedding dress on this auspicious occasion, usually the ghagra-choli or Banarsi sarees, embellished with shimmer of gold, diamonds and rubies. After dressing up, she receives gifts from the mother-in-law. Before evening, the married woman receives the Baya or a basket full of goodies from her mother, which is meant for the mother-in-law.
The basket contains sweets, mathadi, fruits and a sari. Before the sun sets, most of the women in a locality gather in one house and prepare a corner for the Puja. This Puja Chowk is beautifully decorated and a small platform is prepared against a wall on which the image of Gauri Mata or Goddess Parvati is placed. In the olden days, this image was made of cow-dung. When the moon rises women worship the Moon God and their husband and then take food.
करवा चौथ के रीति रिवाज और परंपराएं हिंदी में पढ़ें, क्लिक करें