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Karwa Chauth is an annual Hindu festival observed predominantly by the married women of the northern and northwestern states of India. It is an eminent festival that is observed by the Hindu and Sikh women amidst great gaiety and fervour. The term Karwa Chauth is made up of two words wherein Karwa refers to the earthen pot and Chauth means fourth. Karwa Chauth means offering argya to the moon using an earthen pot known as Karwa. As per the Karwa Chauth calendar, the festival falls on the Chaturthi of the Kartik month. The festival of fasting is kept by women for the longevity, welfare of their husband and also to ensure continued marital bliss. In karwa chauth the women are refrained from drinking or consuming anything uptill moonrise.
We all have grown up seeing our moms and ladies of the house fasting the entire day for their husband. We have witnessed the women fasting since sunrise until moonrise. The first karwa chauth for the newlywed bride is celebrated with great zeal and zest. In the first karwa chauth after marriage, the newlywed bride is showered with blessings and gifts by the family members for a blissful married life. The importance of Karwa chauth has been highlighted over time by the Bollywood flicks. The grandeur of the festival showcased in the films has raised the bars of the celebrations. Has the beauty of the ritual captured your fascination? Scroll down to discover the beautiful rituals and traditions of Karwa Chauth.
Finding its traces back to the times of the Vedas the ritual of Karwa Chauth has been followed over time by the Indian women. India is a land of folklores which have given rise to numerous fables about the origin of the karwa chauth. Some of the popular karwa chauth origination tales are as follows:
1. Story of Queen Veervati- Once there lived a beautiful queen named Veervati who was the only sister to 7 loving brothers. It is said that once during Karwa Chauth she was at her parents’ house where she observed the strict fast of Karwa Chauth for her husband from sunrise. In the evening with a growling stomach, she eagerly waited for the moonrise which was delayed. Her brothers could not see the plight of their beloved sister so created a mirror in a Pipal tree to resemble as the moon in the sky. Veervati delight at the sight of the moon broke her fast and immediately as soon as it happened came the fatal news of her husband's death. An inconsolable Veervati broke down when a goddess appeared before her and revealed how her brothers love had her tricked in breaking the fast untimely. Post this she observed the fast of Karwa Chauth with full dedication, Yama the lord of death moved by her devotion restored the life of her husband. This story is one of the traditional karwa chauth Katha narrated across me various Indian communities
2. From Mahabharat- It is said that Draupadi the wife of the Pandavas also observed the fast of Karwa Chauth. Once Arjuna the Pandava whom Draupadi adored the most went to Nilgiri Mountains for a self penalty. During the absence of Arjuna, the other Pandavas faced challenges without him. Draupadi could not see the plight of her husband’s which is when she remembered her brother Lord Krishna to aid her in finding a way out of the problem. Lord Krishna came to aid of her sister and narrated to her the story of Goddess Parvati who was stuck in a similar situation and observed the fast of Karwa Chauth which helped her out. Krishna advised Draupadi to also observe the fast to help her husband’s. Draupadi as per instructions of her brother observed the fast of Karwa Chauth and the result was that the Pandavas were able to resolve their problem.
3. Story of Karwa- Once there was a woman named Karwa who was head over heels in love with her husband. Her intense love towards her husband had bestowed upon her lots of spiritual power. Once while her husband was having a bath in the river he was attacked by a crocodile. Karwa to save her husband bounded the crocodile with cotton yarn and remembered Yama the Lord of Death. Now was afraid of being cursed y such a devoted woman which is why he sent the crocodile to hell and restored the life of Karwa’s husband. The festival of Karwa Chauth is said to he celebrated in honour of the love and devoting of Karwa.
4. Story of Savitri- Satyavan and Savitri were a loving couple but their happy days came to an end with the untimely death of Satyavan. Savitri was not ready to accept her husband's death and was determined to bring him back to life. It is said when Yama came to acquire Satyavan’s life Savitri begged before him to not do so. When Yama refused to budge from his decision which is when a determined Savitri stopped eating and drinking. Seeing this worried Yama granted her a boon in which she could ask for anything apart from her husband’s life. Now Savitri was a clever woman she asked him to blessed her with children. She was a devoted woman who loved solely her husband and so would not practice any kind of adultery. Thus Yama was left with no other choice rather than to restore the life of Satyavan so that Savitri could have her boon fulfilled.
The fables of the origin of Karwa Chauth are not just the sole reason behind the celebration of Karwa Chauth. The rituals and the original tales are depicted karwa chauth meaning. The popularity of the festival has witnessed prominence over north and north-western parts of India. The northern states of the country had a major population of the males offering their service to the armed forces for the safety of the women. If history is to be believed the women and the people of the region fasted to ensure the safety of their husbands, sons and brothers serving in the armed forces. The women prayed for the longevity of the men in uniform who safeguarded the country from the enemies.
The festival of fasting coincided with the initiation of the Rabi cropping season which refers to the wheat sowing season in the northern regions. The women of the families filled earthen pots known as Karwa with white grains and offered it to the Gods while praying for a good harvest. The use of the Karwa paired with the fasting for longevity gave the festival the name Karwa Chauth and season of celebrating it.
Another reason why karwa chauth rituals are celebrated is that in ancient India women at a very young age of 10-13 years were married off. They hardly got the time to enjoy their childhood because of this teenage marriage. In those days communication was a big issue and a married girl couldn’t visit her parent’s home easily. It was considered bad behaviour. With the responsibility of the entire household on her shoulder and away from her near ones in a new place amongst strangers the teen bride would feel lonely and homesick. To solve this issue the women started celebrating Karwa chauth in a grand manner which witnessed the participation of the married women of the village. The women befriended each other and called themselves as God sisters. The festival is a way of enjoyment is celebrated to make the women forget that they are alone at their in-law's house. The union of the women witnesses gifting session where the ladies gift each other with bangles, lipsticks, sindoor as a token of a reminder that they always have a friend beside them.
A different version of the same story which reasoned the celebration of the festival is related to strengthening the bond of feminine friendship. The custom of arranged marriage prevailed a lot in ancient Indian and the newlywed bride has to leave her paternal home and reside in her husband’s home. Being new to the family the custom of befriending another woman as the bride’s friend known as Kangan saheli or dharma behen for life rose. The friendship between the two females was sanctified in a Hindu ritual during the marriage. The bride’s friend would usually be of her age who would be married off in her village and would not be directly related to her in-laws. The bond between the two ladies was considered no less than blood relationship. The karwa chauth festival evolved as a mark of celebration of the special bond of friendship between the two females. Few days before the karwa chauth the married women would buy new karvas and paint them beautifully. Inside the karvas they would place bangles, ribbons, homemade candy, sweet, makeup items and small cloths. The women would visit each other on karva chauth and exchange the karvas.
“Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful”- Joseph B. Wirthlin
Karwa Chauth is a fast that has its power and is associated with auspiciousness. The festival of karva chauth is of utmost importance for the married ladies. The festival not just ensures the longevity of the husband but also strengthens the bond of love between the couple. If you have recently tied the knot then you must be looking forward to your first karva chauth ka vrat. No matter whether you had a love marriage or an arranged marriage the first karwa chauth would hold a special place in your heart. Before keeping the fast of karwa chauth there are rituals and traditions about the festival that you need to be well versed with. Read on to find out all about the rituals and traditions of the vibrant festival.
The festival of karwa chauth is not just limited to the stories rather it also features some beautiful rituals. The first karwa chauth is an elaborate affair for a newlywed and it celebrated amidst great fervour. Just as the first karwa chauth is special for a newlywed lady the rituals make it equally important her husband and in-laws as well. The festival of karwa chauth is observed in Kartik month 9 days before diwali. The movies have showcased the lavishness of the festival but have you always wondered is it that grand? Or is it simpler than the larger than life extravaganza showcased by the movies? What are the age-old traditions and rituals associated with Karwa chauth? Have these questions always got your thinking? Well, now we have the answers for all your karwa chauth rituals related queries. Scroll down to know about the various beautiful rituals and traditions of karwa chauth.
Sargi is a special meal consumed by the women before sunrise on the day of karwa chauth. The sargi is prepared by the mother-in-law for the daughter-in-law. The sargi includes earthen pots that contain food to be eaten by the women. The sargi meal includes matri, milk-based mithai and dry fruits like kaju, kismis and badam along with other healthy and delicious eatables all homemade by the mother-in-law. The sargi gives the women the strength to survive the day-long fast. Post having the sargi the daughter-in-law touches her mother-in-law's feet in reverence. The mother-in-law in return blesses a girl with an ashirvaad of 'Sada Suhagan Raho' which means, 'may you always enjoy a blissful married life'.
The first baya is the gifts that are given to mother-in-law by the family of the newlywed bride on the day’s in-laws of the karwa chauth. The baya is also offered to the other married female member of the in-laws of the bride. The first baya given to the mother-in-law of the bride comprises of dry fruits, salted matris, saris and utensils.
After the first karwa chauth, the baya is a gift or token of appreciation given to the daughter-in-law by the mother-in-law who is fasting for her son. The baya gifted by the mother-in-law has money, clothes, jewellery, cosmetics, sindoor and sweets. After receiving the baya the women dress up in vibrant red attire, adorn themselves with solah shringar and apply Mehendi on their hands and feet. The first karwa chauth baya strengthens the bond of love shared between the mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law. Usually, some mothers-in-law allow their daughters-in-law to have tea or milk in the evening post the evening puja. This ritual for karwa chauth is considered as a token of respect and it creates mutual understanding between the two ladies.
The customary evening puja preparations of Karwa Chauth are done well in advance in the evening. The Karwa Chauth Puja, especially in a family with a new bride observing her first karva chauth, witnessed the active participation of the married female relatives. In Punjabi’s the first karwa chauth celebration is no less than a mini wedding with music, dance, food and fun. For the evening puja, the newlywed bride usually either opts to wear her bridal lehenga or a heavy saree or adorns herself with jewellery and solah shringar. The newlywed during the puja has to distribute matris and utensils amongst the ladies as part of the baya and preparations for it are made in advance. Also before beginning with her karwa chauth fast and consuming the sargi the newlywed lady in Punjabi culture has to distribute food and cosmetic items to charity to the priestess. The charity items are separated a day in advance whilst planning and preparing for the puja.
After the preparations of the karwa chauth puja are over the new bride is dolled up in heavy bridal wear along and adorned with jewellery and cosmetics. Post it the female members of the house gather around the idol of Maa Parvati for the puja. The area where the puja takes place is decorated with the idol of Maa Parvati and kharia mitti or mud. Few hours before the rising of the moon the traditional story of Karwa chauth is narrated to the married ladies. The Karwa Chauth story narrated differs from community to community. Most commonly the legend of Veervati is narrated to the gathered ladies. After the narration of the Karwa chauth story, the women offer their prayers to the goddess for marital bliss, harmony, welfare and long life of her husband. Post the prayers the women pass their thalis around in a circle or feris whilst chanting holy hymns. The newlywed bride during her first karwa chauth puja is the centre of attraction and is showered with immense love and blessings from elderly ladies of gathering for a happy married life. In some cultures, the exchange of the thalis is done during the story narration with pauses during important happenings.
After the entire day of fasting, the newlywed bride eagerly waits for the rising of the moon. As soon as the moon rises it is the time for breaking the fast. To begin with the karwa chauth ritual of opening the fast under the guidance of her mother-in-law the newlywed bride lights a Diya and places it on the thali and fills her karva or earthen pot with water. Post their they place a sieve along with sweets on their traditional thali and go to the terrace or a place from where they can have a clearer view of the moon. The bride then through the sieve views the moon and posts it views her husband who stands infront of her. The husband then breaks his wife’s fast by making her drink water from the karva and feeding her sweets with his hands. The bride touches her husband’s feet and seeks his blessings and asks him for the promise of lifetime togetherness.
In the evening after breaking of the fast and performing the rituals the husband of the newlywed bride feeling proud and overwhelmed by her rigorous fast for him and devotion showers her with gifts. Usually, a newlywed bride receives from her husband on her first karwa chauth gift which is grand and possession for lifetime. The husband also takes his wife out on dinner to save her from the hassle of cooking after the fast. The gifting ritual strengthens the bond between the husband and wife.
So these are a few of the first karwa chauth rituals that you need to be versed with before observing the fast. Now that you are familiar with the rituals you must be gearing up for the fast but what about your outfit and Mehendi. As the first karwa chauth is special for a bride her outfit and Mehendi need to be equally special. Read on to find out more about the first Karwa chauth outfits and mehendi designs.
Wedding is the embarkment of the journey of a lifetime of togetherness, love and trust. The beautiful rituals of the wedding are what makes a woman ready for the journey. The first karwa chauth is beginning of the rituals and festivities that women encounter post the wedding. It is the occasion where she feels celebrated and is made to feel special. Dressing up as a bride adorned in the solah shringar she fasts for the welfare and longevity of her husband.
Just as her outfit on her first karwa chauth matters her Mehendi design is equally important. Although the karwa chauth mehndi differs from the wedding mehndi it also boasts of creative designs. If your looking for Mehendi designs for your first karwa chauth then you can consider opting for patterns which have inked name of your husband. Getting your better half's name written in the Mehendi design is a creative way of showcasing your love. Also hiding his name in the Mehendi design would make your husband eager for it. It would be fun to watch him trying to figure out his name in your Mehendi design. So here are some amazing ways in which you can get your husband's name inked in your first karwa chauth Mehendi.
If you have had a love marriage then what else could be a better way of showcasing your love for your beloved than a cupid heart. The cupid heart with the name you’re your beau’s name or initials inked in the middle of it gives an impression of cupid striking it. The cupid strikes heart adds a dash of romance to your first karwa chauth.
The latest design in the market is the name of your husband hanging around in the Mehendi design. The Mehendi design is suited for backhands. You can get the initials of your husband's name inked bold pattern and get it attached to the finger Mehendi design. The design is an innovative way of adding the name to the Mehendi design.
It’s your first karwa chauth and you would want to make it special. Let your Mehendi do the talking and tell the saga of your love. Instead of the traditional Mehendi consider opting for love story Mehendi with special moments inked in the Mehendi. Add more charm to the Mehendi with the inclusion of your husband’s name and your wedding date. You can get creative with the Mehendi design with the inclusion of characters in it.
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If for your first karwa chauth your opting for a sleeveless outfit then instead of the ditch the expensive diamond-studded gold armlet or bajuband and replace it with the peppy henna arm tattoo. A henna arm tattoo would make you steal the limelight. Show off your love by getting your beau’s name inscribed in the middle of the henna tattoo. The elegant, classy and stylish henna tattoo goes well with the indo-western and sleeveless Indian outfits.
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Have you both always been fascinated by the Disney characters? Then why not go for the Disney Mehendi design. The Disney Mehendi design would comprise of caricatures of your favourite characters along with other patterns that reveal the saga of their love. Enhance the beauty of the Mehendi design as you opt for adding your husband’s name to your Mehendi design.
Instead of going to the old school way of opting for traditional Mehendi design why not try something unique? Make your husband’s name a brand of goodies that he loves like perhaps he loves food or some clothes then you can get caricatures of it made with his name inscribed on them.
During the first karwa chauth the newlywed bride is all dolled up with heavy attires and jewellery. If the heavy hand jewellery is not your thing then consider giving the henna bracelet a try. A henna bracelet around your wrist with your husbands written on it gives a contemporary and offbeat look.
Traverse back in the back of the golden era by opting for the architectural Mehendi design. Several ideas and patterns are available for the architectural Mehendi design. It's your first karwa chauth and what else could be a better way of depicting your affection than the symbol of love the Taj Mahal. You can get a Taj Mahal design made in your Mehendi along with roses and other patterns. Accentuate the beauty of the Mehendi design by adding your beau's name in it.
So these are a few Mehendi designs that you can consider giving a try on your first karwa chauth. Now that you are done with your Mehendi it is time to pick your attire for your first karwa chauth. Scroll down to find out more about the first karwa chauth outfits.
While the festival of karwa chauth is just around the corner you must be gearing up for it. It’s your first karwa chauth after marriage and you must have received several invitations to the festival parties. To ensure that you stand out from the rest your outfit needs to vibrant. You must have grown up seeing your mother and ladies of the house performing the ‘Chandra pooja’. The ritual fascinated you back then and now that your married its that time of the year again where you keep fast for longevity of your husband. With butterflies in your stomach, you must be getting set to get all dolled up for the festivity.
While you adorn yourself with the solah shringar, get Mehendi on your hands and feet you would like to give the Indian attires a try. Not all Indian attires are old-fashioned or cliché. During the karwa chauth ethnic is the dress code for the women. To give you ideas about your attire we present a list of best Indian and Indo-western outfits that are the ideal choice for first karwa chauth outfit.
It's your first karwa chauth and it comes with the opportunity of wearing your bridal lehenga once more. In some traditional families, it is customary for the newlywed bride to wear her bridal lehenga on her first karwa chauth. To achieve a look different from your wedding you can experiment with the hairstyles, jewellery and makeup. Statement jewellery paired with a peppy hairstyle gives you a contemporary look.
Anakali suits are so much in for this year. Pick a floor-length Anarkali suit with intricate embroidery as your first karwa chauth dress. The vibrant hues of the Anarkali give a stylish appearance.
Six yards of elegance, six yards of grace that is what a saree is all about. A saree is a timeless outfit that makes a woman look beautiful. For your first karwa chauth you can consider picking up a saree with heavy embroidery. If the heavy embroidery is not your thing then you can consider picking a sheer saree with scattered sequins on it. The sheer saree would redefine elegance and grace.
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If the heavy wears are not your thing then consider giving the plazo and kurta a try. Simplicity has its charm and the plazo and kurta give a simple yet offbeat look. Subdued with traditions the plazo and kurta gives a ethnic festive look.Accentuate its beauty by accessorizing it with bridal chooda and jewellery. To stand apart from the league you can consider giving the silk kurta and plazo with embroidery a try.
If your one of those brides who loves staying in line with the fashion then consider opting for a peplum suit as your first karwa chauth outfit. The peplum suit paired with bridal chooda and statement earrings gives a classic bridal look. The intricate embroidery of the peplum suit blended with the offbeat look is all you need to accentuate your karwa chauth look.
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The embroidered sharara suit paired a contrasting dupatta is an elegant option for your first karwa chauth. You can accessorize it with diamond or jewellery of your choice.
Spruce up your karwa chauth game by opting a lehenga choli. The embroidered lehenga choli is the ideal first karwa chauth dress. The lehenga choli embellished with peppy designs and embroideries gives a festive look.
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Traditional suits have become the talk of the past modern-day fashion is about gharara suits with flared bottoms. The gharara suits embellished with peppy designs is perfect for flaunting at your first karwa chauth.
So these are a few outfits that you can consider wear on your first karwa chauth. This was everything that you need to know about your first karwa chauth. Did you like the post? What are your plans for first karwa chauth? Share with us about your views in the comments below.
By Mayur Ghiya | 12 Apr, 2019
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