Karva Chauth Festival
Karva Chauth day celebrated by Hindu Women they do Shringaar, Mehndi
Karva Chauth is an annual one-day festival celebrated by Hindu women in North India, the Indian state of Gujarat and parts of Pakistan in which married women fast from sunrise to moon-rise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. The fast is observed in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Indian Punjab, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik. Sometimes, unmarried women observe the fast for their fiances or desired husbands.
Karva is another word for diya (a small earthen oil-lamp) and chauth means ‘fourth’ in Hindi (a reference to the fact that the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or krishna paksh, of the month of Kartik).
Women begin preparing for Karva Chauth a few days in advance, by buying cosmetics (shringar), traditional adornments or jewelry, and puja items, such as the karwa lamps, matthi, henna and the decorated puja thali (plate). Local bazaars take on a festive look as shopkeepers put their Karva Chauth related products on display. On the day of the fast, women from Punjab awake to eat and drink just before sunrise. In Uttar Pradesh, women eat soot feni with milk in sugar on the eve of the festival. It is said that this helps them go without water the next day. In Punjab, sargi (????) is an important part of this pre-dawn meal, and always includes fenia. It is traditional for the sargi to be sent or given to the woman by her mother-in-law. If the mother-in-law lives with the woman, the pre-dawn meal is prepared by the mother-in-law. The fast begins with dawn. Fasting women do not eat during the day, and some additionally do not drink any water either. In traditional observances of the fast, the fasting woman does no housework. Women apply henna and other cosmetics to themselves and each other. The day passes in meeting friends and relatives. In some regions, it is customary to gift and exchange painted clay pots filled with put bangles, ribbons, home-made candy, cosmetics and small cloth items (e.g. handkerchiefs). Since Karva Chauth follows soon after the Kharif crop harvest in the rural areas, it is a good time for community festivities and gift exchanges. Parents often send gifts to their married daughters and their children.
In the evening, a community women-only ceremony is held. Women dress in fine clothing and wear jewellery and henna, and (in some regions) dress in the complete finery of their wedding dresses. The dresses (saris or shalwars) are frequently red, gold or orange in color, which are considered auspicious colors. In Uttar Pradesh, women wear Saris or lehangas. Women sit in a circle with their puja thalis. Depending on region and community, a version of the story of Karva Chauth is narrated, with regular pauses. The storyteller is usually an older woman or a priest, if one is present. In the pauses, the Karva Chauth puja song is sung collectively by the women as they perform the feris (passing their thalis around in the circle). In Punjabi communities, the Karva Chauth song is sung seven times, the first six of which describe some of the activities that are taboo during the fast and the seventh describes the lifting of those restrictions with the conclusion of the fast. The forbidden activities include weaving cloth (kumbh chrakhra feri naa), pleading with or attempting to please anyone (ruthda maniyen naa), and awakening anyone who is asleep (suthra jagayeen naa). For the first six feristhey sing –
|“||…Veero kudiye karvara, Sarv suhagan karvara, Aye katti naya teri naa, Kumbh chrakhra feri naa, Aar pair payeen naa, Ruthda maniyen naa, Suthra jagayeen naa, Ve veero kuriye karvara, Ve sarv suhagan karvara…||”|
For the seventh feri, they sing –
|“||…Veero kudiye karvara, Sarv suhagan karvara, Aye katti naya teri nee, Kumbh chrakhra feri bhee, Aar pair payeen bhee, Ruthda maniyen bhee, Suthra jagayeen bhee, Ve veero kuriye karvara, Ve sarv suhagan karvara…|
Source: Wikipedia karva chauth
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