Karwa Chauth: Different ways of Celebrating

In 2013, the much awaited fast of the year, Karwa Chauth is on 22nd October. The word Karwa Chauth flashes a picture of a traditionally dressed wife waiting for the moon. It is a highly celebrated fast all over India which is observed by married women for the longevity and prosperity of their husband.

Karwa Chauth is not just a ritual but a very special day in the lives of the married Hindu women. Karva Chauth fast is highly popular among the women of Northern and Western India, especially, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Let’s take a look at some of the aspects of this highly popular day.

Karwa Chauth Celebrations - Region Wise


Karwa Chauth Celebrations

Punjab

For the women of Punjab, Karwa Chauth is not just an ordinary day but a grand day with grand celebration. Several days before the actual day of Karwa Chauth, markets get flooded with decorative items and accessories like beautiful saris, heavily embroidered suits, bangles, several eatables and sweets. Women get up early in the morning, dress traditionally and eat ‘Sargi’ which is given to them by their mother-in-laws. Later in the day, they gather with the women of neighborhood to perform the evening puja. According to the customs of Punjab, women observing fast can take tea after the evening puja but the fast is broken only after offering prayers to the Moon at night. ‘Baya’ is also a Punjabi custom performed on this day in which; clothes, jewellery or any other gift is given to the mother-in-law of the girls parents.
Rajasthan

In Rajasthan, Karwa Chauth is also known as Vata Purnima and has its own meaning and significance. There, the women make Karwas with mud and fill it with rice, wheat, cloves, cardamom and a silver coin. They dress traditionally in their wedding dress and observe the fast not only for the welfare and long life of their husband; but, also to bind them for the next seven births. According to the rituals, before offering water to the Moon, the married woman is asked “Dhai?” to which she responds, “Suhaag na Dhai”. An elder woman of the family narrates the Karwa Chauth story and its significance to all the married women. women here take the first sip of water from their mother-in-law’s hand. 

Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh, married women decorate the walls of their home with paintings and drawings of Maa Gauri, the Sun and the Moon. They make karwa with mud and perform puja in evening with earthen lamps. The women of Uttar Pradesh first pray to the figurines (puppet or figure) at their doorstep and then the Moon. Gaur Mata is also worshipped by creating her idol with soil, water and kumkum. Story of Veer Vati is narrated by a priest or elder woman and following song is sung:

Sadaa suhagan karve lo, Pati ki pyari karve lo, 
Saat bhaiyon ke behen karve lo, Vart karni karve lo, 
Saas ki pyaari karve lo

Women of Uttar Pradesh don’t take even a sip of water the whole day and take anything only after worshipping the moon at night. 

Other States

In Gujarat, married women observe this fast with high spirit. In Madhya Pradesh, traditions of Uttar Pradesh are followed mainly. Women dress in new jewelry and clothes (mostly wedding dress), apply mehndi on their palms and feet and gather with their families to celebrate this auspicious day. In Maharashtra, Karwa Chauth is not very popular but a similar fast called 'Vaat Savitri' is highly observed. This day is not very much popular among the women of Bengal and Bihar too.

Sikh women

Some Sikh women observe this fast and perform the rituals for the healthy and prosperous life of their husband.

16 Shringar - Solah Shringar


Indian women love to dress traditionally and look their best on every occasion. On Karwa Chauth they dress as beautifully as they dressed on the day of their marriage. On this day while some of them opt to dress simple, others love to attain the complete bridal look with 16 Shringar. Let’s have a look on each of these Shringar and its significance:

Shaadi ka Joda (Wedding dress)

It includes a heavy embroidered sari, lehenga or suit, depending on one’s religious background. Wedding dress brings out the eternal beauty of the married women.

Keshapasharachana

This word is made from three different words: kesh (hair), pash (flock) and rachna (arrangement). According to Indian mythology, the braid of a woman signifies three Indian rivers- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Also, one of its strands represents bride’s father’s house, other represents her in-laws house and the last one represents the bride who connects the bond between both the families.

Gajra

It is usually made of jasmine flowers.

Maang Tikka

It houses the Ajna Chakra and is worn at the middle of the forehead.

Sindoor

Signifies that a woman is married and signifies her fertility and regenerative power.

Bindi

It is put on the centre of the forehead which is the place of the mystical third eye.

Kajal (Kohl)

One of the most popular items of 16 Shringar which enhances the beauty of the women’s eye.

Nath (Nose Ring)

It represents that a woman is married and is also considered as a way of honoring Goddess Parvathi.

Karn Phool (Ear Rings)

It means the flower of the ear and it beautifies the look of the women.

Haar and Mangal Sutra

Definitely one of the most important ornaments of a married woman which symbolizes her marriage.

Baajuband (Armbands)

It is believed that wearing Baajuband keeps the evil away.

Mehndi 

It is considered to bring good fortune for the married women.

Choodiyan (Glass Bangles)

Most women like wearing red colored glass bangles on Karwa Chauth.

Aarsi (Thumb Rings)

Usually embedded with small mirror and used by the women to see her face and her husband’s face.

Kamarband

A beautiful ornament worn around the waist.

Payal (Anklets) and Bichuas (Toe rings)

Bichuas represents the identity of a married woman.

Itra (fragrance)

Significance Of Seeing Moon Through Sieve


On the night of Karwa chauth, married women first offer prayers to the Moon and then follow the tradition of seeing their husband through a sieve; however, most of them don’t know the actual purpose of sieve here. It is believed that married life of the women lasts happily for as many years as through how many pores she sees her husband. It is also believed that seeing the Moon through sieve removes the evil effects from her husband.

Song Sung On Karwa Chauth


This day has everything unique about itself. Women from all around the neighbourhood gather together to perform the evening puja in which they sing the song of Karwa Chauth while exchanging thaalis and then listen to the story of Karwa Chauth. The following stanza is sung 6 times i.e. till the time Thalis are exchanged and all women have their own thalis.

Veero Kudiye Karwada,
Sarv Suhagan Karwada,
A Katti Na Ateri Naa,
Kumbh Chrakhra Feri Naa,
Gwand Pair payeen Naa,
Sui Che Dhaga Payeen Naa
Ruthda maniyen Naa,
Suthra Jagayeen Naa,
Bhain Pyari Veeran,
Chan Chade Te Pani Peena
Ve Veero Kuriye Karwara,
Ve Sarv Suhagan Karwara

The last circle i.e. the seventh fera is concluded with this song:

Veero Kudiye Karwada,
Sarv Suhagan Karwada,
Aye Katti Naya Teri Nee,
Kumbh Chrakhra Feri Bhee,
Aar Pair payeen Bhee,
Ruthda maniyen Bhee,
Suthra Jagayeen Bhee,
Ve Veero Kuriye Karwara,
Ve Sarv Suhagan Karwara

After the evening Puja comes the night Puja which is performed with singing the following 5 times while offering water to the moon:

Sir Dhadi,
Paer Kadi,
Ark Dendi,
Sarv Suhagan,
Chaubare Khadi

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