Karva Chauth is a one day festival celebrated by Hindu women, mostly in the northern part of India for the well being of their husband. Karva means pot and Chauth means fourth since the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark fortnight.
The festival is about women fasting from sunrise to moonrise for their husband and breaking the fast by looking at the moon in water and then through sieve. This is followed by the husband breaking his wife’s fast by giving her water and a morsel of sweet.
The tradition has evolved with many over the years. However, we still don’t know how it ended up in north western part of India. It was originally started by women who would pray for their husbands gone off at war in order to come back safely. Sine the festival coincides with wheat sowing time Big earthen pots in which wheat is stored are sometimes called Karvas, so the fast may have begun as a prayer for a good harvest in this predominantly wheat-eating region.
Observing traditionally, the fasting women are not allowed to do any work of the house. They apply henna on each other’s hands, meet friends and relatives so that they can be busy without thinking about the fast.
In this modern age where we have women managing profession and household, tradition has a possibility of taking a toll on their health which results in low blood pressure, acidity, nausea and headaches. While the original fast is quite strict where women can’t consume anything the whole day, many women have watered-down the version and stick to consuming fluids and fruits in a mix.
In order to make your Karva Chauth fast less painful and to stay energized, we have collaborated tips to keep you glowing and healthy during this festive occasion.
The usual Karva Chauth ritual starts by a married woman’s mother- in- law giving her sargi which consists of sweets, dry fruits and kheer. However, it is advisable to have a minimal amount of sugary items before fasting, as this can aggravate your hunger pangs. Instead go for protein rich foods like paneer (cottage cheese) preparations which are healthy and will also help keep you full throughout the day.
During the fast
Consuming nuts early morning is a good option as they are a rich source of protein, essential fats, vitamins, minerals and will give you the energy required to go through the day.
A glass of lukewarm milk will give you an additional benefit to keep your body energized.
Every fruit has a health benefit in itself. If you feel you can’t go in for a strict fast, consuming fruits is a better option. A bowl of freshly cut apples, watermelon, and berries will provide essential nutrients to your body.
Divert your attention
The festival involves engaging with relatives, meeting friends or drawing henna on hands, and dressing up all fancy. The purpose of these activities is to keep yourself busy so that you don’t think constantly that you haven’t eaten. So the best way is to do leisure activities like going to a spa and pampering yourself.
Fuel up with water
The best source of energy and refreshment is water. It is important you keep consuming a lot of water to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue or dehydration.
Breaking the fast
Avoid oily food
While breaking your fast, it is advisable to not consume oily or spicy food. Since the stomach’s level of acidity is very high and consuming oily food will make you feel uneasy. Instead you can stick to salads or light food.
Level of acidity will increase further if you have tea or coffee immediately after breaking your fast. Instead you can opt for a frizzy drink.
Plus for protein
Consuming protein rich food is a healthier option as it will give you back the energy you have lost during the day. A bowl of sprouts or paneer can be taken in consideration.
So this Karva Chauth, be humble to your health and inculcate this traditionally romantic festival with great joy and happiness.
Disclaimer: While this can be referred to as a basic healthcare guide to be followed during Karva Chauth, please do not neglect any serious health problems or self treat them. The physician’s advice might be the best solution in such cases. Also, what suits one may not suit another. Those who are allergic to any nut or any other food item should avoid them.