Karwa Chauth is a fast undertaken by
married Hindu women who offer prayers seeking the welfare,
prosperity, well-being, and longevity of their husbands. A
married woman who observes this vrat is called
‘Saubhagyavati’ (joyous and happy state of wifehood).
The festival of Karva Chauth was emerged as a day to
celebrate the season of autumn and enjoy the company of
friends and relatives. But later on, many mythological
legends were added to give it a religious touch. This
festival is glorified and widely solemnized by the Hindus
and Sikh of north-western India. As the name signifies,
Karva meaning a clay pot and chauth corresponding to the
fourth, this festival is commemorated on the the fourth day
after the Full Moon in Kartik month of Hindu calendar.
Season-wise, soon after the harvest, it is an excellent time
to enjoy festivities, meet one another and exchange gifts.
During the time of Karva Chauth, parents send gifts to
married daughters and their children.
The festival of Karva Chauth has an
extraordinary observance rate among married Hindu
women in Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and
Gujarat. The various way of celebrating Karva Chauth
vary from each other on regional basis. New clothes,
new jewelery and gifts from both mother and
mother-in-law are received. The wedding day outfits
are worn once again, mehndi is applied and the
family gathers to celebrate it with them.
There are many similar stories
associated with this festival in different parts of
India. In this fast, various items including a karwa,
an earthen pot with a spout, are collected and
worship is offered to Siva and Parvati. In
principle, the fast is not to be broken until the
moon is sighted at night, and an elderly woman in
the house is supposed to narrate the story of Karwa
Chauth before the fast is terminated.
Legends of Karwa chauth
Once upon a time,
there was a queen by the name of Veeravati. She was the only
sister of her seven loving brothers. On the occasion of the
first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her
parents' house. After sunrise, she observed a strict fast.
The seven brothers who loved her dearly, were very disturbed
watching the distress of their sister and decided to end her
fast by deceiving her. Then the brothers reflected a mirror
through Pipal tree leaves. The sister, taken it as moon
rise, broke the fast and took food. However, the moment the
queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her
husband, the king, was seriously ill.
The queen rushed to her husband's palace and on the way, she
met Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. Parvati
told her that the king had died because the queen had broken
her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen
asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon
that the king would be revived. But to achieve this, she
would have to undertake the Karva Chauth fast under strict
rituals, then only her husband would come top life. Thus, by
strictly following all the rituals of Karva chauth, queen
Veeravati regained the life of her husband.
The belief in this fast and its associated rituals goes back
to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi, too, is said to have
observed this fast. Once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for
penance and the rest of the Pandavas faced many problems in
his absence. Draupadi, out of desperation, remembered Lord
Krishna and asked for help. Lord Krishna advised her to
observe the fast of Karva Chauth. Draupadi followed the
instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals.
Consequently, the Pandavas were able to overcome their
The Legend Of Karwa
According to another legend, a woman named
Karwa was deeply
devoted to her husband. One day while bathing, he was caught
by a crocodile. Karwa came running and bound the crocodile
with a cotton yarn. She then went to Yama, the Lord of the
death, and requested him to send the offending crocodile to
hell. When Yama refused, she threatened to curse him. Afraid
of the power of a devoted wife, Yama readily accepted and
sent the crocodile to Yamalok or hell, and blessed Karva's
husband with long life.
Some special recipes for Karwachauth :