Karva Chauth, the festival of North India, is celebrated by married women. They observe a fast for the long life of their husbands and later in the day, adorn bridal makeup. It falls on November 2 this year.
It begins before sunrise and ends only after offering prayers and worshiping the moon at night. No food or water can be taken after sunrise. Women dress in fine clothing and wear jewellery, apply henna, and also dress in the complete finery of their wedding dresses. The dresses are frequently red or orange in color, which are considered auspicious colors.
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On Karva Chauth, several women fast from sunrise to moonrise to wish for their husband’s long life and good health. A couple of decades ago, women used to deck up in traditional clothes and get intricate henna designs on their palms on the occasion. But thanks to glamorous depiction of the festival in Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and later in Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, it has become a big thing.
Karwa Chauth an important festival for married women, dedicated to her husband’s long life and prosperity. The rituals begin the first day of the feast, when his mother-in-law give “Sarge” her daughter in law. SARG consist of mehndi, sindoor, Bindi, the red ribbon, coconut, saviya, candy, almonds, etc.
The festival of Karwa Chauth is celebrated with great pomp and show in different parts of the country. It is said that it is a promising festival brings happiness and well-being with a long life for your husband, if she observes this fast with full faith.Karwa Chauth is celebrated with great enthusiasm Hindus in India specially in North India. Typically, the festival of the North and North-West India, Karwar Chauthi is nine days before Diwali and 10 days after Dusshera. The day is called Kartik Ki Chauth.Karwa Chauth is a wonderful opportunity for married women in India to pray for longevity and prosperity of their husbands. It is a solemn occasion in which married women dressed in clothing and jewelry (like a newly wed bride) do puja for Karwa Chauth. http://karwa-chauth.happydiwali.org/
Fasting Karwa Chauth is particularly important for all Hindu married women in India. They believe that the festival provides the well-being, longevity and well-being of their husbands. Origin of this festival was based on an idea very sweet and noble. Although this idea has lost its true sense as today the outlook
The most important aspect of Karwa chauth festival day is dawn to dusk fasting is done by women. During this period women do not eat food or drink water. Only when Moon appears in night (around 8.30 PM) women watch the moon and at last break the fast. Fasting on festival Karwa chauth is unique perhaps because nowhere in the world such tradition Despite the fact that one has to go thru difficult fast, women eagerly wait for festival.One reason for this joy and happiness is a golden opportunity to get expensive gifts and opportunity to get dressed up as bride. Since this festival is considered very important for married women, all symbols, which reflect the state of marriage a woman become high in high demand, such as jewelry, bangles, henna, sarees, lehnga choli, and many other traditional gifts. Henna Mehandi has its own meaning in India and the Middle East. It’s like a tradition in India, women used to decorate their hands and feet with Henna Mehndi. Henna Mehandi is basically a paste made from the leaves of the henna plant. Henna Mehandi considered a symbol of happiness for married women in Indian culture. Here is a belief in India that women with mehendi has left a dark color will be a lot of love and care of her husband.
Karva Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day (-chauth) of the waning moon (the period after Sharad Poornima) in the Hindu month of Kartik. In 2011, it will be celebrated on 15th October, ten days before Diwali. The festival originated as an occasion for celebrating friendships and camaraderie among women. Over the years, it has evolved into a day for women to keep a day-long fast and pray to Goddess Parvati for the health and longevity of their husbands. (Benefits of fasting)
On a typical Karva Chauth morning, women wake up before sunrise, and eat a meal called sargi, which consists of dry fruits (like almonds, pistachios and raisins) and milk-based sweets given to them by their mother-in-laws. In the afternoon, the parents of newly-married women send a gift in the form of baya to their daughter’s mother-in-law. This gift can be in the form of clothes, money, or traditionally, simple sweets.The Marriage of Shiva and Parvati
According to the Puranas, Parvati (also known as Uma) was born to the king of the mountains, Parvatarajan. The sole purpose of her creation was to be united with Shiva in marriage. Lord Shiva had resolved not to get married after the death of his first wife (Sati), but the celestials feared that the whole universe would be destroyed if Shiva continued his deep meditation for hundreds of years. The Puranas state that Parvati had to perform great penance and austerities in order to distract Shiva as he sat on Mount Kailash in a deep state of meditation. The tradition of Karva Chauth is perhaps a small form of homage to Goddess Parvati and her determination to raise Lord Shiva from his deep trance.
The spiritual significance of this ‘marriage’ is the union of the ‘activating energy’ or shakti of the female form with the dormant or ‘potential energy’ of the male form. Another interpretation of this ‘marriage’ is that it is the act of meditation (shakti) which releases the manifest spiritual energy of the seeker (sometimes referred to as the awakening of the chakras). The term Shiva-Shakti is often used to reference the inseparable nature of Shiva and Shakti.Traditional Karva Chauth Celebrations
The women of the community gather in the evening at a temple or a chosen household and celebrate the festival with singing of bhajans and traditional songs. A pot of water, called karva, is placed next to an image of Goddess Parvati for the purpose of the prayers or puja. Women will wear their finest clothes and jewelry for the occasion. In recent years, the cosmetics and make-up industry markets heavily to women in the days coming up to this occasion. Beauty parlors are heavily booked as women treat themselves to make-up and hair-dressing appointments. In essence, it is a day of rest, relaxation, camaraderie and building relationships for women.
The festival concludes in the evening with the much anticipated sighting of the moon in the night sky. The fast is usually broken after the women pay homage to the moon while viewing it from behind a veil or sieve. According to the Upanisads, the moon is the provider of all food and nourishment – so, it is logical that the fasting women would acknowledge the moon before eating or drinking anything to mark the completion of the fast. A sumptuous meal usually follows, which indeed is a tradition for all hindu festivals and occasionsParvati Mantra and prayers for Karva Chauth
Sarva-mangal-maangalye, Shive Sarvaarth-saadhike
Sharanye-triyambake Gauri, Naaraayani Namo-stute
सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके |
शरण्येत्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणी नमोsस्तुते ||May Paarvati brings good fortune and prosperity (-mangal-maangalye) to all (-sarva) her devotees. May she forever (-sarvaarth) accompanying Lord Shiva (-saadhike). May she give us refuge (-sharanye) in the protection of the three-eyed one (-triyambake). O beautiful and fair-colored one (-gauri), the consort of naaraayan (-naarayani), we bow to you (namo-stute) repeatedly.