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Karwa Chauth : History, Significance and Rituals

Karva fourth falls on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha of Kartik month.

A Hindu festival celebrated by the women of Hindu from the Indian subcontinent on the fourth day after Purnima (the full moon) in the Kartika month. Karwa Chauth is based on the lunisolar calendar as well as for all the astronomical positions, most probably the position of the moon matters it is used as a marker to calculate the important dates. On the fourth day after the full moon the festival falls in the Hindu lunisolar calendar in the month of Kartik.

Married women observe this festival; this occasion can be found in north India. From the sunrise to the rise of the moon, for the safety and the endurance of their husbands the Hindu wives keep fast. In the states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh. The karwa chauth fast is traditionally celebrated in these regions and in Andhra Pradesh it is celebrated as Atla Tadde.

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The Origin

Karva means pitcher (a small earthen pot of water) and Chauth means fourth (with reference to the fact that this occasion falls on the fourth day of the Krishna Paksha of Kartik month, in the kartik month, krishna paksh). In the scriptures of Sanskrit the festival is known as kark chaturthi.

The married women would buy new karwas (spherical clay pots) 7-9 diameter and holds the capacity of 2-3 litres and they would paint them outside with beautiful designs, these activities are done few days before karva chauth. Bangles and ribbons, homemade candy and sweets, makeup items and small cloths are kept inside the pot by the women.

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Rituals

For preparing Karwa Chauth the women begins by buying adornments (shringar), jewelry and puja items like karwa lamps, matthi, henna and a decorated puja plate. On the day of the Karwa Chauth punjabi women awake to eat and drink just before the sunrise. Celebrants eat soot feni with milk in sugar in Uttar Pradesh in the eve of the festival as it is said it helps them to go without the water the next day. On the occasion of Kawa Chauth the women choose to wear their special traditional attire to look their best. In some regions they wear their traditional dresses. At dawn the fast begins. The women who keeps fast are not allowed eating during the day time. Various kinds of rituals along with vrat are performed by the Hindu wives on the day of Kawa Chauth for the longevity of their husbands. Saint Garibdas Ji Maharaj stated that ——-

“Kahe jo karava chauth kahanee

Taas gadaharee nischay jaanee

Kare ekaadashee sanjam soee

Karava chauth gadaharee hoee”

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