Karwa Chauth, the eternal bond of love
Celebrating marital bliss the Indian way.
It’s a ritual like no other. Bejeweled women who have fasted all day, decked up in their finery, mehendi adorning their hands and feet, sindoor in their hair singing on the auspicious night of Karwa Chauth. They gaze up at the beautiful moon lit up in the dark night sky praying for their husband’s health, wealth and long life. This year too, Karwa Chauth—being observed on October 22—will be celebrated with the same fervor and devotion.
An age-old tradition .
This unique festival is believed to have originated centuries ago when men would go off to war in faraway lands. All the women in the community would collectively fast on one day praying for the safe return of their husbands. It was a day of fasting as much as it was a celebration with special treats being prepared. It was also an occasion to dress up in their bridal finery. The festival also coincides with the wheat sowing season, and many believe the fast was also to pray for a good harvest because grain was stored in big earthen pots called karwas.
The karwa chauth story
In the evening—after a day of fasting—bedecked and bejeweled married women congregate with their thalis for the puja. The Karwa chauth katha is narrated by a priest. Legend goes that a long time ago, a newly married girl, Veeran broke her fast before moonrise because her seven brothers showed her a fake moon. Her husband suddenly passed away and the grief-stricken Veeran tended to his dead body for a year. She again observed the fast the following year and her husband came back to life. As women listen to the story they rotate their thalis.
The karwa chauth rituals .
Karwa chauth rituals revolve around the traditional sargi (special food cooked on the day), mehndi, colorful bangles, bayna (gifts given to the mother-in-law), the story of Veeran and the moon puja. The sargi—eaten before dawn—includes hearty fare like mathri, coconut, pheni, fruits and parathas, all washed down with milkytea to sustain the fasting women through the day.
The Bollywood connection .
Bollywood too hasn’t stayed immune to this special festival with the rituals being immortalized on celluloid many times over. The Karwa Chauth sequence from the evergreen Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, the Salman Khan-Aishwarya Rai ‘moment’ in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and
Amitabh Bachchan-Hema Malini’s tear-jerking karwa chauth scenes in Baghban will always remain Nykaa’s favorites.
Picture Credits: madcookingfusions.com | ibnlive.in.com | indiamarks.com