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Karwa Chauth, a fasting day, is a very important Hindu festival for married women. This is an ancient tradition where women fast all day long to pray for the good health and long life of their husbands.
Women fast from sunrise till moonrise. The fast is broken after worshiping the moon. It is a famous festival that is celebrated in the northern parts of the country.
Ideally, this is a vrat intended for married women only but in northern states like Punjab and Haryana, even unmarried girls fast to get good life partners.
Karwa Chauth falls on the fourth day after the full moon (according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik) during the Shukla Paksha of the month. Karva means diya (earthen lamp) and chauth means four in Hindi, hence the name Karwa Chauth. This year it will be observed on October 27, 2018. Here is the list of must have items for Karwa Chauth Vrat 2018.
Different items are required to observe a Karwa Chauth vrat. But all the items vary from culture to culture. For example, in few cultures, steel strainer is used to view the moon whereas in other cultures, women directly look at the moon and break their fast. But, there are basic items like sweets, karva, water and red chunaris to name a few, that are required in all the customs. If you are going to celebrate the Karwa Chauth for the first time, here is a guide on the basic things that you need to keep the vrat.
1. Karwa Chauth Book
This is required to read the Karwa Chauth story (Vrat katha) among the women observing the fast. The story is read by an elderly woman or priest while all the others hear it sitting around.
2. Puja Thali
The thali consists of several things. The items can vary from culture to culture. However, roli (vermilion), rice grains, karva lota filled with water, a sweet, diya and sindoor are used in every state. Women in Rajasthan put wheat, matthi whereas women in Punjab put red thread, steel strainer and a glass of water (that they drink to break the fast after worshipping the moon).
Women get all decked up to celebrate the most awaited festival. All get dressed up like brides. In the evening, women from different communities and neighbouring areas might organise a small function where they would organise a mehendi competition and show case their beautiful attires. They mostly wear red coloured sarees or lehengas.
It is said that women should wear all the '16 Shringaar' items on this day.Mehendi is one of the important among them. It is very crucial to apply mehendi on the palms. Bangles is yet another. Applying sindur is considered to be the most important. They must be wearing something in their ears and around the neck as well.
Different sweets are prepared in every house. Some women cook spicy delicacies as well. Even sweets vary from culture to culture. However, sargi (a thali that consists of pheni, parantha, fruits and other sweets) and matthis with puas are very popular food items that are required during Karwa Chauth vrat. A sweet is generally needed while breaking the fast. It is eaten after breaking the fast with water.