In a nation, where festivals are the essence of living, Karwa Chauth is celebrated just as elaborately as the next. Karwa Chauth is a classic Indian tradition where ladies fast for a day for their husbands. It’s a celebration that is a pure eloquence of India’s rich cultural legacy, based on the lunisolar calendar, and one in which women fit back into their wedding dresses! With Karwa Chauth approaching on the 24th of October this year, we want to share a little about this beautiful festival, its antiquity, and how Indian women rejoice in it as they regard it as a celebration of love, devotion, and most importantly, sisterhood.
Going back to history, Karwa Chauth was observed as a prayer for the safe return of soldiers who would depart from their wives and children to fight in the war. In recent times, it has evolved as a day to applaud the undying bond of love between a married couple.
Nevertheless, if you are inexperienced, newly married or you live away from your family then planning your first karwa Chauth can be a little overwhelming. However, nothing to worry about! We’ve got you covered. Be it pre-karwa Chauth rituals, main pooja, post karwa chauth ritual, this checklist will help you have a memorable karwa Chauth.
What all you need to prepare
All the crucial preparations begin weeks before the Karwa chauth as it involves a lot of important shopping that needs to be done at least a few days before the festival.
Pre-Karwa Chauth Rituals
As per the tradition, women dress up like newlyweds. Thus, it’s significant you wear fresh clothes, makeup, and jewelry on Karwa Chauth. Buy ethnic Indian attires like sari, lehenga, and ornaments (shringar), new jewelry and makeup. For the pooja, buy pooja thali, karwa diyas, Chalni(sieve), clay diyas.
Fresh fruits, flowers, and sweets can be bought on the day of the actual festival.
The Pooja Samagri (Essentials)
For Karwa Chauth, you would need the following:
A tray for keeping all the puja samagri
A Kalash (copper/brass/silver)
A sieve (Channi)
A lamp made of wheat dough
An earthen pot and a lid or an earthen pot with a nozzle
Oil for Diya
Solah Shringar items – mehendi, kajal, sindoor, lipstick, bicchiyan (toerings), nath (nose pin), chudiyan (bangles), bindi, kanghi (comb), mirror, mahavar/alta, red chunri, necklace, earrings etc.
Karwa Chauth calendar or Maa Karwa/Maa Chauth’s photo
A red chunri
Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha book
Another crucial part of Karwachauth is the beautiful art of mehendi. In the past women used to apply henna on the day of karwa chauth but now it’s usually done a day before the festival. It’s much more practical and saves you a lot of time on the day of the fast.
Karwa Chauth Rituals
While your shopping, mehendi and other necessary preparations are all completed a day before, the day of the karwa Chauth should be all about enjoying your fast, fulfilling rituals and getting dolled up in the beauty of your Indian clothes.
Wake up Before Sunrise for Sargi
On the day of Karwa Chauth wake up before sunrise, take a fresh bath to eat sargi, which is a pre-dawn meal traditionally given as a blessing by the mother-in-law to the daughter-in-law. If you live alone, or your mother-in-law lives in another city or country then you can even assemble the sargi by yourself.
Sargi consists of savoury and sweet delicacies, protein-rich dry fruits, milk, fruits, and snacks. You can even incorporate your loved dishes but make sure the sargi comprises food that is high in fat and super nutritious that keeps you energized the whole day ahead.
Time to Dress-up
After having your Sargi, Dress up and Get Ready for the Puja
The fast commences at dawn and continues till moonrise. During this time the fasting women neither eat nor drink water. After having the pre-dawn sargi, you can take rest and dress yourself up in your new attires and adornments to get prepared for the pooja in the evening.
Usually, fasting women do not do any housework, given the tough nature of the fast. But if you live in a nuclear family, then ask your partner to help you out with the chores.
The Karwa Chauth fast has two poojas—one in the evening before sunset and other, later in the evening at the time of the moonrise.
The evening pooja held previously to sunset is a women-only ceremony. In this ritual, community women dress up in their finest clothes and gather up around a place to perform the pooja. They sit together in a round with their pooja thalis in their hands. The oldest woman from the group narrates the story of Karwa Chauth (called karwa chauth Katha) and in the pauses sing the Karwa Chauth song and pass their thalis around.
When the story finishes, women pray to the goddess for blessings and touch their elders’ feet.
Once the evening’s pooja concludes, you can patiently await the rising of the moon.
The wait for the Moon
As you wait for the moon to rise, you can rest, watch tv, play board games, walk around the park, and invite your friends or relatives over.
In history, karwa chauth was relatively rigid and women could only idly wait for the moon. But things have changed and women have found ways to keep themselves engaged during the fast.
Break the Fast at Moonrise
Once the moon rises, you can perform your pooja procession and break the fast. Ready your pooja thali beforehand. The thali should have a Diya (earthen lamp), Karwa Chauth pot filled with water, Sieve (Channi), a cloth covering the Karwa Chauth Dhoop, Camphor, Rice, Kumkum, Sandalwood Powder, some sweets & Dry Fruits.
To perform the ritual you need a spot where the moon is fully visible. Like a terrace, lawn or a balcony.
When the moon rises, light up the diya and view the moon through a chalni(sieve). Follow it up by offering water(arka) to the moon to secure blessings. If you want you can even say a small prayer for your husband’s well-being.
Furthermore, it’s your husband’s turn to break the fast by offering you some water from the pot. He then feeds you some sweets to conclude the pooja.
What’s interesting is that in 2021, the moon on Karwa Chauth is expected to rise in the Rohini Nakshatra. As per the Hindu calendar, this constellation is very promising and since the Moon is the lord of this nakshatra, it is acknowledged that seeing the moon and worshipping it in this nakshatra will be very auspicious.
We at All About Wedding, wish all the newly weds fasting on 24th October a very happy and promising Karwa Chauth. May your bond flourish and grow this Karwa Chauth with your prayers being an eternal symbol of love