Karwa Chauth is a day on which women fast for their husband’s long life. It comes in the month of Kartik during the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi as per the Hindu calendar. Chaturthi tithi begins at 3:24 am on 4th November and remains till 5:14 on 5th November. The women fast from sunrise till moonrise, and pray for their husbands’ health, safety, and wish for their long life. Karwa Chauth fast is extremely strict, and women can’t take a drop of water after sunrise. They can only consume water or food after seeing the moon. In Andhra Pradesh, this festival is called as atla tadde.
In north India, it is celebrated with immense pomp and enthusiasm. It will not be an exaggeration to say that women celebrate the day with the same zeal as they celebrate Diwali. They dress up as brides and importantly shop for the outfit for days. Women apply mehndi, wear traditional dress, and apply sindoor to their foreheads.
In the evening after sunset, women listen to Karwa Chauth Katha. The women sit in a circle and perform the rituals. The women pass karwa to each other or earthen pots seven times during the puja. The vrat is about the love of women for their husband and the unity amongst the ladies. As they sit to perform the puja, they laugh and talk, pass the karwa and promise to stay together in harmony and support each other during tough times.
The Karwa Chauth story
The legend goes that a man named Vedsharma and his wife Leelavati were happily married and has seven boys and a girl called Veeravati. All loved the daughter and the brothers always ate food with their sister.
After marriage, when Veeravati fasted for the first time, her brothers were very anxious. They wanted to help and her and thus created a fake scene of a rising moon. The trick worked, and Veeravati sat to consume the food. Before she could take the first morsel of food, the news of her husband’s death came. She started to cry and howl. She pleaded to all lords, and then Goddess Indrani appeared in front of her.
She questioned why did her husband pass away. Goddess claimed that it was the mistake that she committed lead to the death of her husband. Goddess told her if she performs the vrat every month of the Chaturthi day, then, her husband will again be alive. Veeravati was determined, and she did the rituals with immense diligence and the Goddess was pleased. Her husband gained consciousness and was alive. They lived happily ever after, and ever since then, all women were asked to perform the ritual.
As the moon rises, the women see the reflection of their husband through a sieve. After that they see the moon and drink a sip of water from their husband’s hand and break the fast. The complete concept of fasting is about celebrating love with your better half.