Karva Chauth is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu married women. It is celebrated on the Chaturthi Tithi of Kartik month… This year, the festival of Karva Chauth will fall on Thursday, October 17, 2019. On this day, married women keep fast for the the well-being of their husbands. Some of the unmarried girls also keep Karwa Chauth fast Karwa Chauth is considered one of the most important Fasts observed by the married Hindu women. On this day the women pray for the welfare and long life of their husbands. The festival is followed mainly in the northern parts of the country. Married women eat food early in the morning, before sunrise. They are not supposed to eat or even drink water during the day. In the evening the ladies listen to the Karwa Chauth Katha (the legend). The fast is over after the moonrise.
The Puja Process
- The pooja preparations start a day in advance. Married women buy the shringar or the traditional adornments and the other Pooja items like the karwa, matthi, Heena etc.
- Early in the morning they prepare food and have it before sunrise. The morning passes by in other festive activities like decorating hand and feet with Heena, decorating the Pooja thali and meeting friends and relatives.
- In the late afternoon women gather at a common place like temple or a garden or someones’ place who has arranged the pooja. An elderly lady or the pujarin narrates the legend of Karwa Chouth.
- The essentials of this gathering and listening of the Karwa chauth story , a special mud pot, that is considered a symbol of lord Ganesha, a metal urn filled with water, flowers, idols of Ambika Gaur Mata, Goddess Parwati and some fruits, mathi and food grains. A part of this is offered to the deities and the storyteller. Earlier an idol of Gaur Mata was made using earth and cowdung. Now just an idol of Goddess Parwati is kept. Every one lights an earthen lamp in their thalis while listening to the Karwa story. Sindoor, incense sticks and rice are also kept in the thali.
- At this time the women wear heavy saris or chunries in red , pink or other bridal colors, and adorn themselves with all other symbols of a married women like, nose pin, tika, bindi, chonp, bangles, earrings etc.
- Once the moon rises, the women see its reflection in a thali of water, or through a dupatta or a sieve. They offer water to the moon and seek blessings. They pray for the safety, prosperity and long life of their husbands. This marks the end of the day long fast.
Karwa Chauth Puja
According to Vratraj, the best time to perform Karwa Chauth Puja is during Sandhya time which starts after sunset.
Karwa Chauth Puja is focused to seek blessing of Goddess Parvati. Women either draw Goddess Gaura and Chauth Mata on the wall or use Chauth Mata image on the printed Karwa Chauth Puja Calendar to worship Mata Parvati. Goddess Gaura and Chauth Mata are representations of Goddess Parvati. The Mantra which should be recited during Parvati Puja is –
“नमः शिवायै शर्वाण्यै सौभाग्यं संतति शुभाम्। प्रयच्छ भक्तियुक्तानां नारीणां हरवल्लभे॥”
It means “O beloved consort of Lord Shiva, please bestow long life of the husband and beautiful sons to your women devotees”.
After Goddess Gaura, Lord Shiva, Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha are worshipped.
Usually women perform Puja in a group and narrate the Story of Karwa Chauth Mahatamya, known as magnanimous of Karwa Chauth fasting.
After Puja, Karwa should be given as charity to the Brahmin or some eligible woman. The Karwa or Karak should be filled with the water or the milk and precious stones or coins should be dropped in it. Karwa should be donated to some Brahmin or Suhagan women. The Mantra which should be chanted while donating Karwa –
“करकं क्षीरसम्पूर्णा तोयपूर्णमथापि वा। ददामि रत्नसंयुक्तं चिरञ्जीवतु मे पतिः॥”
Worship God Moon
After Puja women should wait for the moon to risen. Women should worship God Chandra and after making offering to him should break the fast.