Guiding Light: Significance of Karwa Chauth

India is a beautiful land of rituals and traditions. From north to south, east to west, the country is home to vibrant cultures and traditional festivals. And one such festival is Karwa Chauth which will be celebrated today.

Karwa Chauth is celebrated predominantly in the northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan with fervour. Karwa Chauth is observed by married women, who fast for the long life of their husbands. This festival always coincides with Ganesh Chathurthi, where devotees fast for Lord Ganesha.

The word Karwa means earthen pot and Chauth means four. Women who observe Karwa Chauth, begin fasting from sunrise and don't eat food and drink a drop of water until they see the moon. Eating sargi before fasting is also an important ritual of Karwa Chauth festival in some parts of the country, especially in Punjab.

On the occasion of Karwa Chauth, married ladies dress up as newly-wed brides, apply henna on their hands, which is considered an essential part of shringar. Without sindoor (vermillion) the shringar of a married woman is considered as incomplete. Hence on Karwa Chauth women make sure that they apply sindoor on their forehead.

After the sunset, the married women gather and listen to the Karwa Chauth vrat katha, the legendary tale of Queen Veeravati who worshipped Goddess Parvati and forced Yama to restore her husband to life.

In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, women pass karwas, the earthen pots seven times among themselves. After the moon rises, they see it or its reflection in water through a sieve. The ladies then offer water to the moon and then the husband offers water to their wife to break her fast. The festival of Karwa Chauth celebrates the bond of love shared between a husband and wife.

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