The age-old tradition of Karva Chauth is of great importance in the Hindu culture. On this day, women seek blessings from Goddess Parvati and ask for a long and healthy life for their husbands.
On Karva Chauth, women fast throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset. The Karva Chauth Vrat is also called the Nirjala Vrat, which means women cannot eat or drink anything, not even water. On the day of Karva Chauth, women read and recite the Katva Chauth Katha, a mythical story. The stories narrated on Karva Chauth strengthen the married women morally and make them confident about their inner strength. It is also a call to build a morally-strong society.
The Karva Chauth Katha
Long-time ago, there was a princess called Veervati, he only sister of her seven brothers. She was married to a king.
Queen Veervati returned to her parent's house to celebrate her first Karva Chauth after the marriage. She followed the ritual and observed the Karva Chauth vrat for her husband. However, she experienced severe hunger pangs soon during the day. Her loving brothers couldn’t witness her sister suffering from hunger, and therefore, thought of tricking her into breaking the fast.
The brothers placed a mirror in a peepal tree that made it look like a moon. As Queen Veervati awaited the moon, she mistook the mirror to the moon and broke her fast. However, as soon a the Queen ended her fast, she received the shocking news that her husband had died.
Inconsolable, the queen rushed back to her husband's house. Along the way, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared before her and told her that she had been deceived by her brothers. The glow of light she had seen was not from the moon. Queen Veeravati then pleaded for forgiveness. The gods assured the Queen that her husband will be fine only when she observes the fast ritual strictly, they added that the king would be ill for some time.
The Queen reached the palace to find his husband in a coma. He had several needles pierced in his body. She slowly removed each needle. It took her a full year to remove all but one needle. The next year, she followed all the rituals of Karva Chauth with dedication and was hopeful that the King will wake up since only one needle was left inside his body.
However, while she was busy in performing the rituals of Karva Chauth, a maid pulled out the last needle from the king’s body. The King did wake up but mistook the maid for Queen. The Queen was shocked but continued to observe the rituals religiously.
One day when the king was preparing state visit to another kingdom, he asked Veervati what she would want from his state journey. In reply, queen Veervati said she wanted a pair of identical dolls to which the king agreed. Then queen Veervati started humming a song that went as “ Roli ki Goli ho gayi... Goli ki Roli ho gayi”, meaning queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen. When the king enquired why she kept repeating the song, Veervati told the whole story. The king felt sorry and re-instated Veervati as his queen.