Karwa Chauth: The Married Women's Festival
The bond of togetherness and feeling of made for each other is reflected between every couple on the
The bond of togetherness and feeling of made for each other is reflected between every couple on the occasion of Karwa Chauth, a Hindu festival that aims to strengthen the institution of marriage. On the fourth day after Sharad Poornima, all married women keep fast for the well being of their husband.
The festival is becoming more and more popular due to its grand portrayal in Bollywood Movies and TV shows and consequently it is spreading in those parts of the country also that were once not acquainted with the tradition and ritual of celebrating it.
The celebration becomes all the more important if there is a newlywed couple in the family. The daughter-in-law is given precious gifts on her first Karwa Chauth by the mother-in-law with Sargi; specially prepared food items that the women take early in the morning before sunrise. After sargi starts the day long fasting without food and water and it ends with moon rising up in the sky.
Women decorate themselves as brides, put heena and arrange pooja thali and await the rising of the moon. In various communities group pooja is organized at one place and all the people assemble there for the ritual. Women offer their prayers and then see moon through a sieve and then their husband who break their fast by giving them first drop of water.
However, this tradition is followed in a different style in Rajasthani communities where women exchange their karwas (earthen pot like vessel, small in size) with the elderly women in the family and drink water from it and take their blessings.
In Udaipur this festival was celebrated enthusiastically by many communities and this year also many more women added themselves to this celebration. Women have been preparing for this day from last almost a week; visiting parlour, getting items of pooja, gifts etc.
Unlike the grand celebration as portrayed in movies the pooja is carried out in a very sober manner and it almost remained a gathering of women in their grand attire and jewels performing all the rituals very passionately.
No doubt, media and movies are vital in the reincarnation of our festivals and functions but they present them with influences of modernity which at some places can be appreciated but when it comes to set beliefs and practices, they should not be mocked at in the name of modernity.