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Karva means a small earthen oil lamp and Chauth means the fourth day. Karva Chauth is a festival is one of the biggest and very important Hindu festivals observed mainly in North Indian states. It is a very significant day for Hindu married women and for those who want to get married soon.
This festival is dedicated to the loving relationship of husband and wife. According to Hindu religion and culture, both husband and wife are made to take some vows during their marriage and some responsibilities are allocated to them. This festival is for them to remember their duties and to perform certain rituals known as Karva Chauth Puja, to maintain a healthy relationship for a lifetime.
Accordingto the Hindu calendar, Karva Chauth Puja falls on the fourth day after Sharad Poornima (the full moon day in Ashwin maas- seventh month in the Hindu calendar). It is celebrated nine days before Diwali festival on Krishna Karthik Chaturthi (fouth day of the dark Moon phase in Kartik month).
Legends and Beliefs
Though there are many legends associated with this festival, according to a popular one, once there lived a very devoted wife named Karva. Once her husband was bathing in the river and a Crocodile came to eat him. Then, Karva tied up the Crocodile to save her husband and asked Lord Yama (God of death) to send the Crocodile to hell. Afraid of being cursed by a devoted wife, Lord Yama did the same and Karva and her husband enjoyed many years of marital bliss of togetherness.
According to another legend, when Lord Yama came to take away Satyavan's soul, his wife Savitri begged him to grant him more life. On refusal, she stopped eating and drinking and prayed to Lord Yama. He asked her to ask for any other boon except for the life of her husband. Savitri asked that she be blessed with children to which Lord Yama agreed. As she was a devoted wife, she would not let any other man touch her. Thus, Lord Yama had to bring her husband back to life.
Rituals and Celebrations
On this day, women get up early in the morning before sunrise and after the ritual bath, they worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi along with Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. Then, they eat something before sunrise which is usually by 4 am. From sunrise, their fasting begins and during this time they cannot eat anything or drink even a sip of water. During this day, usually it is customary to exchange gifts and especially a clay pot filled with some home-made candies, bangles, cosmetics, etc.On this occasion, women gather in the evening before sun set to perform the Puja together in a group. Karva Chauth Katha (story) is read out loud by some old woman in the house to the other younger women. After the Karva Chauth Katha is completed, all the women, usually dressed in bright-coloured new clothes, sit in a circle and sing Karva Chauth songs and pass their plates, filled with gifts to be given to their mother-in-laws, to each other. When the moon appears, they see the moon and their husbands through a chhalni (metallic mesh in circular shape with some space to keep small lamp on). Then they break their fast. This festival is a symbol of love between a husband and his wife.All the information given above are of general nature only, collected and reproduced for the general information only. However, if you want some specific, exclusive and deep information, you may avail our specially designed services, for satisfying your thirst of knowledge.
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