Karwa Chauth is an annual Hindu festival where married women observe fast for the well being and long life of their husband. The day falls on the fourth day of Kartik month in Hindu calendar, just nine days before Diwali. In western calendar, the festival generally falls in the months of October and November. The tradition of observing fast on Karwa Chauth is keenly followed by married women with much fervor and gaiety. Married women considers this day very special to seek blessings for the well being of her husband. On this special occasion, women dressed up in beautiful traditional attires like sari, lehenga, salwar-kameez etc. and observe fast from dawn to dusk. They specially pray to Goddess Gauri (Parvati) for the well-being of their husband. This festival is eagerly followed in northern parts of India particularly in the states of Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Check out this write-up and know more about the date.
Karwa Chauth 2013
Customarily the date of Karwa Chauth is determined using Hindu calendar. It falls on the fourth day of the dark fortnight in month of Karthik, nine days prior to Diwali. Generally, according to the English calendar, this festival occurs during October-November. In 2013 it falls on 22 October.
The preparations of Karwa Chauth festivity begin well in advance. Women buy ornaments and dresses for the special occasion. On Karwa Chauth day, married women get up early in the morning, go for ablutions and pray to God for the longevity of their husbands. Following this, they take a special meal called as Sargi, mostly consisting of grains and fruits, given by women's mother in law. They then begin their fast at sunrise, adorned themselves with best of traditional costumes, bangles, bindis on forehead and decked their hands with hennas. The fast continues throughout the day until moonrise. During the day, they spent time in leisure activities such as playing games, applying mehndi or henna on hands and meet-up with friends and relatives. In the evening, married women gather at common place or temple where elaborate Karwa puja is performed. They take seat forming a circle and carry plate or thali that is filled with chandan, kumkum, rice, pot of water and earthen lamp. An idol of Goddess Gauri and earthen pitcher are placed at the centre of circle where women are seated. During puja, elders narrate the stories of Karwa Chauth and women sing songs relating to Karwa Chauth .After the puja ceremony, all the women go back to their respective home and wait for moonrise.
When moon appears, women take a look at the moon through a sieve and worship the moon. They then look at their husbands through the same sieve and she prays for his long life. Her husband then brings a plate and offers her sweet to break the fast, which is then followed by sumptuous dinner, marking the efficacious end of the celebrations.
Karwa Chauth 2013 Date: 22 October.