Karva Chauth Rituals & Traditions
Application Of Henna
Application of henna is considered auspicious for married woman and forms a mandatory part of Karva Chauth rituals. According to a popular belief, married woman, whose mehndi (henna) is gets dark, would get loads of love and care from her husband. In addition to this, henna symbolizes prosperity and good luck. Therefore, it can be said that it is a good luck charm for the married women in India. The auspicious ritual of the application of henna is performed on the day. However, nowadays, people also apply mehndi one day prior to the festival.
Fasting is an important part of the celebrations of Karwa Chauth. After having the scrumptious meal called ‘sargi’ in the pre-dawn time, women observe a one-day fast for Karwa Chauth. Fasting symbolizes the ability of a woman to stay calm even after starving for a long time. Actually, on Karva Chauth, a married woman is bound to stay starve all through the day until the moon rise, without drinking even a drop of water. They break the fast only after having a glimpse of the moon rise (on their thali that is filled with water or through a sieve) and their husband.
Dressing Up For Karwa Chauth
As a part of the traditions, married women clad themselves in beautiful dress, on Karwa Chauth. The attire for the day is strictly traditional. Therefore, you would get to see variations in the traditional wear including sarees, lehenga and salwar-kameez. The chosen color for the dress is either red or maroon, because both the colors are considered auspicious for married women. The women would accessorize themselves with matching pieces of jewelry, including colorful bangles, heavy earrings and necklace.
Karwa Chauth Puja
One of the important traditions of Karwa Chauth is puja. The pooja is conducted somewhere between 4 pm and 5 pm, by the married women. One of them would call upon other married women to take part in the puja organized at her place. As a part of the tradition, a two-inch tall idol of Goddess Gauri is made using cow dung and a picture of the idol is kept aside, because she is the deity worshiped on the day. Songs are sung for Karwa Chauth puja aarti.
Ritual At Moon Rise
The ritual at moon rise marks the culmination of the festival. As the day proceeds, the women who have observed Karwa Chauth vrat (fast) would eagerly await for the moon to rise in the evening. The moment moon rises, they would have a glimpse of the moon through a sieve or look at the reflection of the moon in their thali. Thereafter, they would have a glimpse of their husband through the same sieve. Next, the women would drink water to break their fast. This marks the culmination of the rituals of Karva Chauth. This is followed by feasting.