India is a country known for it’s rich culture and variety of festivals. Every festival is embraced and celebrated with whole heart in our country. Like each festival holds a significant cultural value and has it’s own set of rituals, so does Karva chauth, a festival where thousands of Hindu women across the world take part in a one-day fast to commemorate their marital relationship. Karva Chauth is a festival widely solemnised by Hindus and Sikh living in the northwestern part of India.
Let’s take a look at the history and significance of this glorified festival.
Why is it called ‘Karva Chauth’?
The term Karva Chauth, can be further broke down where karva stands for earthen pots which are used to store wheat and chauth means the fourth. Karva symbolises the peace and prosperity and the Chauth marks the date the festival starts, as this festival is celebrated in the month of Kartik on the fourth day after the full moon.
The Story Behind The Celebration
During the ancient times, girls were married off at a really young age. And as per the tradition, bride had to leave her parent’s house after marriage. More often than not, their in-laws would be residing somewhere far away. The bride used to look out for friendship in her husband’s house to share her emotions and problems. Thus the custom began where on the wedding day, a small Hindu ceremony was performed, in which one woman would become the god-sister of the bride for lifetime. They would continue to hold this relationship for eternity. They would help each other in times of hardship, share all their thoughts and problems with one another and comfort each other. The festival of Karva Chauth was celebrated to mark the significance of their special bond. A day before Karva Chauth, these women would buy karvas , paint and decorate thim and fill them up with bangles, small items of clothing, cosmetics, ribbons and exchange them with their god-sisters. But as years passed, many mythical tales were associated with this festival that led to the evolution of Karva chauth and Today it is observed as a fasting ritual for all married women for long life of their husband.
Significance of the Festival
The fast of Karva Chauth is meticulously important and auspicious to all married Hindu women in India. It is believed that this festival ensures prosperity, longevity and well-being of their husbands. And women who aren’t married can also take part in the one-day fast to provide their fiances or desired husbands with good fortune. There are some people who observe the occasion to honour the relationship of the god sisters. The fast is a prominent part of Karva Chauth.
As the 21st century is all about equality, husbands nowadays also keep fast on Karva Chauth to support their wives and for their prosperity, longevity and well-being.