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KADWA CHAUTH

Karva Chauth is a fast undertaken by married Hindu women who offer prayers seeking the welfare, prosperity, well-being, and longevity of their husbands. Karwa Chouth falls about nine days before Diwali on the Kartik ki Chouth (fourth day of the waning moon or the dark fortnight) some time in October or November. It is the most important fast observed by the women of North India. Karwa Chauth is a fast undertaken by married Hindu women who offer prayers seeking the welfare, prosperity, well-being, and longevity of their husbands.

It is said to have an extraordinary observance rate among married Hindu women. In principle, the fast is not to be broken until the moon is sighted at night, and an elderly woman in the house is supposed to narrate the story of Karwa Chauth before the fast is terminated. This is indeed a very tough fast to observe as it starts before sunrise and ends after worshipping the moon, which usually rises at about 8.45 p.m. No food or water is to be taken after 4 a.m. or after sunrise.

The preparation for the puja should be started at about 4 or 5 p.m. Someone older,  or the housewife herself, prepares a suitable place in the puja room, in case it is a big room which can accommodate all the women who have been invited for the puja; otherwise the best place is a verandah or the open courtyard, since generally the weather is not cold during this season.

The goddess known as Gaur Mata is worshipped. The Gaur Mata used to be made with cowdung in the shape of a human figure, just about two inches tall. Nowadays, a picture or an idol of Parvati is worshipped.

Women celebrate by buying bangles and applying henna patterns on their hands. New brides wear their bridal outfits and others wear outfits woven with gold. Those who have keep  the vrat, dress up beautifully in their chunris or in red or pink clothes with chonp and bindi on their foreheads. 

Once the moon rises, the women see its reflection in a thaali of water, after which they do a pooja for their husband's safety and long life, and finally break their fast.

 

 

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