In Hinduism, Karva Chauth is one of the most auspicious festivals for women. On this day, married women keep a Nirjala (without water) fast not only for the long life of their husband but also as a symbol of love and affection.
In many regions across the country, young girls also keep the Karwa fast in order to get the desired groom. Being a Hindu festival, it is more significantly celebrated in the northern part of India, however, any married woman can keep this fast in the love of her husband.
According to the Hindu calendar, Karva Chauth is celebrated each year on the Chaturthi Tithi of Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartik. This year Karva Chauth is falling on Sunday, 24 October 2021. On this day, women break the fast after offering Arghya to the moon at night in an earthen pot known as Karwa.
According to the Vrath Katha, there was a queen named Veerawati who deeply loved her husband. She also had seven brothers who loved her immensely. The story goes that one day Veerwati was visiting her home during Karwa Chauth while she was fasting for her husband’s long life.
By evening, she began to feel a little faint and was eagerly waiting for the moon to come out so that she could eat something. Upon seeing her like this, her brothers could not bear to witness this and begged her to eat something. However, when she denied, they devised a plan to ease her misery.
One of her brothers climbed up a pipal tree and held up a sieve with a flame behind it. Their aim was to trick Veerawati into believing that the moon was out and that she could break her fast. Upon seeing the flame, the innocent Veerawati believed her brothers and broke the fast.
Unfortunately, the moment she did, the news of her husband’s passing arrived within a few minutes. She began to cry when a goddess appeared in front of her and revealed that she had been tricked by her brothers. Veerawati promised to keep the fast with full devotion and begged the goddess to return her husband to life. This is when Yama, the Lord of Death saw her devotion and restored her husband’s life.
Significance of Karwa Chauth
Karwa Chauth is a festival in which married women pray to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for the long life of their husbands. They dress up in ethnic clothes mostly sarees and salwar suits and adorn all the traditional symbols of a married woman such as Sindoor. Women from the neighborhood gather at one place where they hear the Vrat Katha and sing hymns. Later in the evening, a Puja is performed and once the Moon is sighted, the fast is broken.
What’s interesting is that in 2021, the moon on Karwa Chauth is expected to rise in the Rohini Nakshatra. According to the Hindu calendar, this constellation is very auspicious and since the Moon is the lord of this nakshatra, it is believed that seeing the moon and worshipping it in this nakshatra will be very auspicious.
Apart from observing fasts, women also pray for a prosperous and happy married life. Later in the evening, they perform puja for their husbands before the moon sighting. After this, the women try to see the moon through a sieve and then catch a glimpse of their husbands through the same sieve. It is also believed that when a wife looks at her husband through a sieve, all negative emotions are filtered through it.
Once this is done, the women eat something and their fast is completed. The festival has also been made popular by its depiction in various movies and TV shows. During recent times, a lot of men have also started observing fasts for their wives. This has made the festival even more special as it signifies love, compassion and understanding.