Karva Chauth is all famous for fashion jewellery, husband-wife love and fasting. Thanks to our thousands of years old culture. Rightly said by Saint Garibdas Ji Maharaj –
Kahe jo karva chauth kahani I
Taas gadaharee nishchay janee II
Kare ekaadashee sanjam soeeI
Karva chauth gadaharee hoee II
According to the Hindu Lunar calendar Karva chauth is celebrated on the fourth day of Purnima of the kartik month of Krishna paksh. The Indian subcontinent known well as the land of festivals where hundreds of gods and goddesses are worshipped, where rivers and stones are worshipped, even cow and calf and snakes are worshipped and the people believe in the power of fast so much that there is a fast for every male member of the family to be observed by a Hindu woman.
In this colourful country, the place of husband in a woman’s life is not less than a god. All happiness, beauty, glow, ’shringar’ of a married woman that is ‘suhagan’ is said to be due to her husband, so, the festival is very important in the life of a married woman and the girls going to tie a knot soon with their fiancé and sometimes for their secret lovers.
Karva Chauth Stories
Many stories are their behind when and why this festival had started. It is said that in olden times when men went out on wars and their wives and children could not see them for a longer period of time then the ladies used to fast for the long life, good health and safety of their husbands. From then it has become a tradition to fast on the chauth of Kartik month for the long life of their husband.
‘Karva’ an earthen pot is the essential item which is bought and decorated well before the festival. Ladies fast for the whole day. At night they get ready in their best way in traditional outfits, jewellery sets and gather at a place where they sing songs and perform some rituals like they sit in a circle, rotate thalis or karvas among themselves and sing karva chauth song like ‘Sada suhagankarva lo, pati ki pyari karva lo’. They ask some questions also like in Rajasthan while exchanging karva seven times, they ask each other , “Dhapi ki ni dhapi” means ,satisfied or not’ and they reply , “Jal se dhapi, Suhag se na dhapi” means ‘satisfied with water but not with husband.’
A story is also told by an old woman or pandit of the society in which a sister of seven brothers breaks her fast because her brothers light a fire on a far away hill and tells her that moon is their and she should break her fast but she can not eat due to many unusual things and gets a call from her in-laws house where her husband was already dead. The story proceeds with the efforts made by her to bring her husband back to life by pleasing Karva Mata. There are many similar rituals in various regions of North India to celebrate this festival which brings a lot of happiness, with laughter and songs sung by beautiful women.
Karva Chauth is approaching soon on 24th of this month but the air is full of all hues of feelings of love, romance and many more things that words fall short to explain. From the last month, women and girls can be seen running around with happy faces, to buy karvas (small earthen pots), buying or getting stitched the dresses to look the best among friends and to steal the heart of their love and life, purchasing jewellery, bangles, sindoor, henna etc. to strengthen the bond of love, buying ‘pooja samagri’ to please karva chauth mata. They want to do everything the best for their ‘suhag’ being above all the other relations.
Karva Chauth Fashion
The world of fashion is everchanging in today’s world and when a festival approaches, the markets are full of latest fashion outfits and so is the case of karva chauth and the following wedding season. If we peep into small shops of narrow streets or visit a fully air conditioned showroom or just browse various online shopping platforms, bright coloured saris, light and heavy lehangas with all sort of traditional, modern, experimental and fusion work can be seen everywhere in more than thousands of varieties and why it should not be. Designers and business people understand that the husband, fiancé or lover of every lady is unique and very special for her and she will hardly compromise with her looks.
Matching jewellery and bangles are also not behind the clothes. A huge variety is available waiting to be chosen and worn around a beautiful neck of a husband’s proud wife, or to give complete look to the attire by decorating the delicate wrist of a newly wed girl and waiting to catch the attention of the husband when he will delicately hold her hand to pull her into his arms. How romantic the festival becomes with these ornaments especially when the person realizes that all this has been done for him only.
In a routine, may be girls wearing western outfits for their comfort but on karva chauth they like to get ready in a all new look with all traditional things. They wear sari, lehanga, salwar suit, in mostly red, orange and magenta colour, they wear heavy gold or animated jewellery, bangles, sindoor, henna, decorative bindis, bichhiya, payal and everything they do not like to wear in daily routine. They not only appear beautiful but also seem to be carrying forward the customs from the previous generations to hand it over to the next generation.
Karwa Chauth & Food
Now comes the food. As India is a country where fasts are very common for the female members of the family to be observed for the long lives of the male members, we should not forget that fasts are not a burden but scientifically it is a relief for our digestive system also. When we are on fast we are the holiest people who cannot think anything wrong but can think of the god and the wellness of our family only. In case of karva chauth also everything is scientifically planned so that the ladies, who will not eat or drink anything for the whole day, may not feel week or fall ill.
In all the parts of our country where this festival is celebrated, there is a provision of having some solid food early in the morning which includes items which will help them to tolerate the thirst and hunger for the whole day. It has got various names in various parts of our country but the most common name is ‘sargi’ which is given by mother-in–law and the essential material of this thali is ‘fenia’ or ‘feni’ which is made up of thread like material and may be sweet or without sugar. It is mostly eaten with milk and it is a complete meal but in ‘sargi’ thali the mother–in-law puts many things with love for her daughter-in–law as she is going to fast for the whole day for her own son. ’Sargi’ may include –
- A stuffed parantha
- Soaked almonds & other dry fruits
- An apple, pomegranate etc.
All these things are good sources of all nutrients which keep the fasting lady energetic and hydrated. Of course, love and affection of mother-in-law is the main ingredient which has weightage more than any material.
Indian men are no more shy these days to express their love for their wives who is fasting for them so, for the whole day they not only loiter around their wives, keep chattering and making all efforts to keep her smiling and happy for the whole day. They do not hesitate to give a head or leg massage, to help her to wear sari, to carry her belongings on the day of the fast. These days a new custom has been set by the loving Indian men that they also fast with their wives to feel the hunger and thirst, to prove that they are fulfilling the promise of being with her in every moment of life, to express that they also equally love her and they also need to wish for her long and healthy life.
Let’s be ready for the festival of love, affection, bonding, beauty and a lot more on this 24th October.