Karva Chauth is of great importance for married Hindu women but the festival is seen as a big occasion for women undertaking their first Karva Chauth fast after marriage. A newly married woman is given utmost importance by relatives and immediate family members when she observes her first fast for the long life of her husband. She is showered with blessings of blissful married life and loads of Karva Chauth gifts especially by her mother-in-law.
Mother-in-law prepares an elaborate Sargi (the pre-dawn Karva Chauth meal) when her daughter-in-law observes her first fast. She wakes up much early to prepare a sumptuous and lavish meal inclusive of sweets and other delicacies for daughter-in-law. Saasu-ma blesses her bahu with an ashirvaad of ‘Sada Suhagan Raho’ which means, ‘may you always enjoy a blissful married life’ when the latter touches her feet with reverence. She also presents her daughter-in-law with gifts, which may be a piece of jewelry or a heavy saree on the first Karva Chauth.
Baya is a gift given to a daughter’s mother-in-law on the occasion of Karva Chauth. It usually consists of salted mathris, dry-fruits and some gifts. This Baya is a little more special when the daughter is observing her first Karva Chauth. Mothers of newly wed daughters bring gifts for all her family members. Some utensils are also included in the baya which are to be distributed amongst women who join the newly-wed on her first Karva Chauth Puja.
Elaborate Puja Preparations
Elaborate preparations are made for the customary evening Karva Chauth Puja in a family where a newly wed daughter-in-law observes her first Karva-Chauth. Married female relatives are invited to participate in the puja. The newly married woman often wears her bridal lehanga or a heavy saree and adorns herself with lot of jewelry and make up. After the puja ceremony she seeks blessings for happy married life from all elder women. The newly wed woman distributes mathris or utensils amongst the ladies that were a part of baya.
Gifts from Husband
Husband of the woman who observes her first Karva Chauth feel proud and great to see her better half observing such a rigorous fast for him. He gets overwhelmed with love and respect for her wife and pampers her with loads of Karva Chauth gifts. These days husbands also takes her wife out for a dinner to save her from the drudgery of day’s cooking work.
Photo Location: Bikaner Sweets, Shalimar Bagh Market, New Delhi