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One of the most important and eminent festivals celebrated by the women in India is Karva Chauth. This festival is celebrated by the married women for the long life of their husbands. The women fast for the entire day after the sun rises and they wait for the moon to come out. After the moon comes out, the women pray for the long life and safety of their man.
This fast is celebrated mainly in places like Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. The festival is celebrated according to the luni-solar calendar of the Hindus and Karva Chauth falls during the Kartik month.
In some communities, unmarried women also observe the fast to get a desired man as their husband. The celebrations generally start in advance. The women buy all the traditional jewellery, puja items, adornments, and other things that are required for the puja.
Rituals Of Karva Chauth
The women start fasting at daybreak, and they should not eat anything throughout the day. However, there are some communitiies where women get up while the stars and the moon are still there in the sky, and eat a sweet dish. Thereafter begins the fast for the day. Women are also known to apply henna on their hands. The parents send a lot of gifts to their daughters.
In the evening, the women patiently wait for the moon to come out. Once the moon is out, the women seek blessings for their husbands. They break the fast by drinking water and then they are allowed to eat fruits and other foods as well.
Legend Of Karva Chauth
According to the legend, there was a beautiful girl whose name was Veeravati. She had seven brothers, who were very kind and loving, and she was married in a royal family. On the very first Karva Chauth after the marriage, Veeravati went to meet her family.
After the sunrise, she began with the fast for the day. However, the queen was very impatient, as she could not withstand the after-effects of the fast and wanted the moon to come soon. Her brothers could not tolerate the distress, and they decided to end Veeravati's fast by playing a trick on her.
The brothers decided to reflect a mirror from behind the leaves of the Peepal tree. Veeravati thought that the moon had risen, and without thinking of anything else, she broke her fast.
As soon as she ate the food, she got the news that her husband had fallen ill. The queen was taken aback, and she decided to go back to her palace. When the queen was rushing to the palace to see her husband, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared in front of her.
Parvati told the queen that her husband had passed away due to the illness. The reason behind this was that the queen had broken the sacred fast after watching a moon that was not real. The queen was shocked by this, and she could not believe that her husband was no longer alive.
The queen requested Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to forgive her for the mistake that she had committed. Goddess Parvati was touched by this and she granted her a boon that the king, her husband would come back to life.
In order to achieve the boon, Veeravati was asked to follow the rules of the fast strictly. Only then her husband would be granted life. Veeravati started to follow the rules, and according to the boon granted by Goddess Parvati, her husband was soon brought back to life.
Like the other festivals of the Hindus, Karva Chauth is celebrated with great excitement, happiness, and joy. The women do not leave a single stone unturned when it comes to keeping their husband safe and protected. All the families join together to celebrate the festival.