Karva Chauth: “Rituals” and “Celebrations”!!!

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Karva Chauth is a festival that every Indian woman looks forward to. This is a one-day fast kept by every married women for the Safety and Longevity of their husband. Even some unmarried girls keep Karva Chauth in prayer of a good husband.
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On this day she fasts the entire day without even a sip of water, until the moon appears which is when her husband feeds her the first morsel of food.
This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and is believed to be the most auspicious day for any married women in Indian. Excitement for the festival can be observed long before the actual day. Proper preparations and shopping for essential items should be done well in advance, so that nothing should be left out. And other rituals to be performed in a appropriate manner.
Outline of Karva Chauth :-
According to the Indian Lunar Calender, Karva Chauth is celebrated on the 4th day of the waning moon in the Kartik month. i.e, this day falls somewhere in the month of Oct or Nov. Usually it falls nine days before the festival called Diwali.

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Rituals :-
From 4 in the morning till night when they see the moon, they do not eat or drink anything, The rituals performed by them are :-

Very first they prepare a Kalash in which the keep water with 5 pieces of different metals. This is offered to Lord Ganesha during pooja with prayers for the husband and his long life.

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In the evening usually prayers held under the banyan tree. This tree is considered sacred according to Indian mythology. Idols of Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati are also kept, where fruits, rice and alms are offered to them. On this day lord Shiva and goddess Parvati are worshipped as well as the moon and lord Kartikeya. On the day of karva chauth, “GAURI PUJAN”observed by married women as well as unmarried girls hold great significance. The main component of this fast is said to be as Karva Chauth Thali, which is decorated by each women in their own traditional way.

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As per in our home my mom follow these rituals and every time she teaches me how to keep the fast. So, I am sharing our ritual that our tradition follows and which my mom tells me :-
As in the morning very first my mom wakes up and takes bath and starts making food which includes Pheni, which can be said as meethi sevaian and also prepare Plan prantha with gobi ki sabzi.
The fast starts at dawn by eating sargi. The Sargi is essentially the pre-dawn meal that a married woman consumes before starting her fast. Sargi thali is, therefore, a celebration of the relationship between saas and bahu. Sargi is a symbol of love and blessings which every mother in law gifts to her daughter in law.

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The sargi thali includes the items :- Fresh fruits, dry fruits, mathri and sweets.
The rest of the day my mom is busy in doing the rituals of wearing bangles, applying mehandi, wearing jewellry and dressing up in beautiful clothes.

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As in the evening our society ladies get altogether in a specified area and there they call one of the Priestess who recited to them the story of Karva Chauth and all of them come with their well decorated thalis and are well dressed with beautiful robes i.e some of them are in suits and some are in sarees with full Sringar done traditionally. The fasting women collectively sits in a circle while doing karva chauth pooja, singing song while performing the feries(passing their thalis around the circle ),Each fasting woman lights an earthen lamp while listening to the story.

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After finishing all the rituals, my mom comes back home and I make tea for her, as my grandma says that you can have tea or any soft drink after listening to the story. Very short time is left for the moon to come, at that time me and my mother makes delicious food for the dinner. As the time passes, finally after waiting for so many hours the moon comes and their is a great happiness seen in all the faces of the fasting women and they just run to the terrace for sieving which means to see moon and husband’s face through pores of it but my mom wait for my dad to come and and then they both go together to terrace and there my mum sieves with a Kalash to moon and give 3 rounds and seek blessing from moon after that my father makes my mum to drink water with his own hand in front of moon. And then my mom blow down to take blessings from my dad. There after they both come and my mom offers “baayna”(melang of goodies like Mitthi mathri etc.)to the idols(mansana) and hand over to my grandparents. After the fast is broken , we all sit together and have delicious food in dinner.

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Author: Charu Arora

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