Karwa Chauth is celebrated with much fervour by Hindu married women for safety and longevity of their husbands. The festival is widely celebrated in Northern parts of India including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab. It falls on the fourth day after the full moon in the Hindu lunisolar month of Kartik, usually corresponding to September or October in Gregorian calendar.
This year, the Karwa Chauth falls on October 8.
Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and Lord Kartik are worshipped on this particular day by women who observe nirjala vrat (fasting) throughout the day until they see the moon. Unmarried women also do fasting to get desired husbands.
Women start her day by consuming sargi, (meal prepared by their mother-in-law) consisting of dry fruits, coconut etc. After consuming this, they do not eat anything throughout the day, not even water until they see the moon.
They perform puja and pray for their husband’s long life in the evening and wait for the moon to come out. They then look at the moon and then their husbands through a sieve after which their partners offer them water and sweet to end their fast.
It is said that long time ago, there lived a beautiful queen named, Veeravati, the only sister of seven devoted brothers. Veeravati went to her parents’ house to celebrate her first Karwa Chauth. She observed a severe fast throughout the day, but couldn’t stand the harshness of fasting in the evening as she was waiting for moonrise.
Seeing her deteriorating condition, her brothers couldn’t see her pain and hence decided to deceive her. They set a mirror in a tree and Veeravati mistook it for the moon and ended her fast. But, the moment she ended her fast, she received a message that her husband died.
Veeravati rushed to her husband’s home and on the way she met Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva who informed her that her husband died as she broke her fast after seeing a false moon. When she asked for forgiveness, Parvati told her a way out to bring back her dead husband.
She observed the Karwa Chauth fast once again by following strict rituals and brought her husband’s life back.