Karwa Chauth is considered as one of the most significant events in the life of married Hindu women. This festival is observed mostly in the northern part of India. Slowly this culture is growing in various other parts as well in abroad as many Indians started moving to different places around the world. Let us understand more about this every popular ritual.
We have created a small video answering all of these common questions around Karva Chauth. Please check this out.
What is Karva Chauth?
Married women observe fast on this day from sunrise to sunset as they pray for the welfare and long life of their husbands. This ritual is observed by both Hindu and Sikh women.
What is Karva?: Karva is a Sanskrit word used to refer to a pot that is made out of mud. And Karva is an important part of this Karva Chauth vrat vidhi.
What is the history behind Karva Chauth?: Karva Chauth was observed by Draupadi in Mahabharata as her husband Arjuna was away on a pilgrimage to the Nilgiri hills and was struck with problems. Draupadi observed a fast and prayed to Lord Krishna who reminded her about goddess Parvati who performed a similar act for Lord Shiva. Draupadi followed the instructions by Lord Krishna and observed the fast along with the other rituals which helped the Pandavas to overcome all the problems that they have been facing.
Since then Hindu women observe Karva Chauth for the welfare and long life of their husbands, delivering them free from all their problems.
What is Sargi?
Sargi which is also called as Sargahi is trasitionally referred to the breakfast that married women observe during Karva Chauth. This has to be taken before the sunrise. Sargi is the name of the sweet (rice pudding), commonly called as kheer in India. Over the years there have been many changes to the items consumed as a part of Sargi. The only restriction is that Sargi should not contain any non-vegetarian items. Onion and garlic should not be used as ingredients in any of its food preparations. Sargi is the first step in Karva Chauth. As it is considered nutritious which would make it easy to complete the strict fast for the entire day.
How to do Karva Chauth?
The Karva Chauth Vrat Vidhi starts with Sargi which is consumed before sunrise. And the fast begins with the sunrise. The fast should be strictly observed as taking food and liquids are avoided during the fast. Dress traditionally and apply Mehndi and alta on your legs. Put Rangoli outside the house. Place Karva Chauth image to the wall and draw a Swastik mark and place the Karva in the center of the Swastik mark. If you are doing this puja alone place another Karva next to the image of Karva Chauth. This Karva belongs to Goddess Parvati. Now perform the Puja. After the puja exchange your Karva with the Karva of goddess Parvati. This practice of exchange has to be done 7 times and at the end you should be holding goddess Parvati's karva. Pray to the image of Karva Chauth and complete the puja.
Now is the time to recite the story of Karva Chauth or the Karva Chauth Katha in a group. After the katha is recited touch the feet of all elders in the group and your family members to seek their blessings.
In the evening once the moon rises, worship the Moon God by lighting diya and pray to the Moon God. Now through the circular sieve look at the Moon and then at your husband. This is when your husband should break your fast by first offering you water from the pot. Later he can feed you some other food items in the plate with his own hands to conclude the ritual. Take the blessing of your husband and then your mother-in-law. This completed the Karva Chauth ritual.
What is Bayna?
After the completion of the Karva Chauth ritual, the Karvas are usually handed over to their mother-in-law or to an older woman in their family along with other gifts such as fruits, sweets, cosmetics and other food preparations during the day. The entire package of the Karva along with the other items is referred as the Baya or the Bayna. If in case you are staying away from your mother-in-law or have no elder women in your family you can donate this Bayna to the nearby temple as well.
How to do Karva Chauth during Pregnancy?
Contact your gynaecologist before starting the fast as the severity of the fast can lead to hypertension and gestational diabetes. After your consultation with the gynaecologist, if you are prepared to fast, make sure that you don't do a strict fast with completely no food and no water. As usual as others perform this vrat, start your day with Sargi and a glass of milk. As your body needs continuous energy eat fruits and take fruit juices every two hours. Hydration is important, so consider taking coconut water and lots of water in between. Avoid high calorie and fat rich foods during this time. Break the fast in the evening and again you can have a glass of milk after you break the fast.
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