Prep Up for Karva Chauth
‘Karwa Chauth’ is also known as ‘Karak Chaturthi’, where the word ‘karwa’ means ‘pot’ through which water offering (‘argha’) is given to the moon. It is a one-day festival celebrated among Hindu women of India in the month of ‘Karthika’, on the fourth day of ‘Purnima’. On this day, married women especially in North India, observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for their husbands. In Andhra Pradesh, this day is celebrated as ‘’Atla Tadde’’. This festival is more popular in the Indian states of Delhi, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. This year (2021), Karwa Chauth falls on the 24th of October.
Why do we celebrate Karwa Chauth?
There are various stories associated with the celebration of Karwa Chauth festival, and all these stories celebrate and glorify women who have made eternal sacrifices for their husbands for their wellbeing. One such legend according to the Mahabharata is that Draupadi once observed fasting for Arjuna while he went away to Nilgiri mountains to perform intense austerities to please the Gods. While Arjuna was away for several days performing tapas, Draupadi was worried and remembered Lord Krishna and asked him for help. Lord Krishna then narrated a story about Goddess Parvathi observing the Karwa Chauth Vrat on the advice of Lord Shiva, for her husband. Taking inspiration from the story narrated by Lord Krishna, Draupadi too observed her first Karwa Chauth fasting for the wellbeing of Arjuna, and he returned home safely.
Benefits of Karwa Chauth Vrat
On the day of Karwa Chauth, women wake up before sunrise and eat ‘sargi’ which is a meal consisting of fruits, vermicelli, milk, and dry fruits. After eating this, women fast until moonrise and usually do not eat anything or even consume water. According to studies, fasting on Karwa Chauth has many benefits to the human body. It helps the body in getting rid of toxins, improves metabolism, lowers insulin levels, and helps in hypertension. Fasting also helps in reaching ketosis, which is a fat burning stage thus helping in weight loss. Fasting also helps in regularizing the reproductive health of women and delaying menopause, since early menopause increases your risk of many conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease and dementia.
Dos and Don’ts for Karwa Chauth Fasting
- Consider consuming a meal rich in carbohydrates and proteins before sunrise, to help feel fuller for the rest of the day.
- Avoid caffeine as it can increase acidity
- Do not indulge in strenuous activities while fasting
- Drink plenty of water or fruit juice before your Vrat t to avoid dehydration
- Women with certain medical conditions should consult their doctor before observing the Vrat
Celebrations and Rituals
On the day of Karwa Chauth, women dress up in traditional attires and apply henna on their hands. They fast from sunrise to moonrise, and in the evening, a ceremony is held where all the women gather with their puja thalis. They sit together, play songs, and narrate Karwa Chauth legends. Once the moon is visible, women go out or gather on the terrace of their homes from where the moon is visible along with their husband, holding a vessel filled with water (argha) and some fruits. Women look at the reflection of the moon on the water in the vessel, and then look at their husband. They then offer the argha and fruits to the moon and pray for the wellbeing of their husband. The husband then offers the argha and fruits for their wife to eat, thus breaking their fast. After this ritual, a Bhog is offered to God, and the entire family then gathers for a traditional meal.
To view our collection of Karwa Chauth items, click on the link below.