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Karwa Chauth is a festival of great significance in the Hindu Culture and is celebrated on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha in the Kartik Maas (a month in Hindu Calendar). This year, in 2019, the festival will be celebrated on Thursday, 17 October.
The meaning of Karwa Chauth can be understood as 'Karwa' which means pot and 'Chauth' which means the fourth day. Since this festival involves worshipping Goddess Parvati with the help of Karwa (pot) on the fourth day of Kartik month, the festival is hence known as Karwa Chauth. Hindu married women celebrate this festival by observing fast for the whole day, which is followed by prayer for their husbands' well-being, long life, safety and good health.
It is true that things change with time, and this time it has changed for the better. Recent years have now witnessed unmarried women also keeping fast for their partners. Though they may not be married, observing fast on Karwa Chauth prior to marriage shows the integrity and love between the unmarried couple. So if you are among those unmarried women who are willing to observe Karwa Chauth fast this year then scroll down to read about the Vrat, Muharat and the Puja Vidhi.
Karwa Chauth Muharat
The muharat of fast begins from 06:23 AM to 8:16 PM. The muharat of the puja is from 05:50 PM to 07:05 PM
How To Observe The Fast
1. Make sure to wake before the sunrise and take a bath. After that offer prayer to God and take an oath to observe the fast for the entire day.
2. Eat the food items sent by your would-be mother-in-law in the 'Sargi'. The sargi will have clothes, fruits, sweet dishes and other things necessary for Karwa Chauth festival. While eating sargi, you need to avoid items prepared with onions and garlic.
3. Once you have eaten 'Sargi', you will have to avoid eating or drinking anything for the entire day.
4. After sunrise, you need to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati.
5. This prayer should be followed by the prayers of Lord Shiva. Throughout the day, you can recall and pray Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Make sure you pray for the well-being and health of your significant other.
Preparing For Puja
1. Start by preparing Halwa and Puri as offerings for God.
2. Make small mud idols of Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha for the puja. Place Goddess Parvati on a wooden 'Sinhasan'. Lord Ganesha has to be seated in the lap of Goddess Parvati.
3. As per Hindu culture, certain items are offered to Goddess Parvati. Those include Red Chunari, vermilion, bindi, bangles, mehndi, toe ring and other auspicious things that Hindu married women use. However, you can skip vermilion as you are unmarried but if you wish, you can still offer vermilion to Goddess Parvati.
4. In your house, clean some space on the ground and make a paste of turmeric powder and raw milk. Using this paste, make a 'Swastik' (a holy symbol in Hindu culture) on the cleaned area.
5. There is a great significance of Karwa (pot) in the Karwa Chauth festival. Therefore, you need to take a Karwa for offering things and sweets to Goddess Parvati.
6. Now put some rice grains on the clean ground near the 'swastik' symbol and place the Karwa on it. Also, make a similar 'swastik' symbol on the Karwa using 'roli' (a sacred powder used by Hindus while worshipping), turmeric and raw milk.
7. Tie a 'moli' (a sacred thread) on the pot and fill it with water. You can also add some sugar, precious stones and coins in the Karwa. You need to prepare two Karwas.
8. No puja is complete without a puja 'thali' (plate). You can prepare it by placing certain items in a clean and dried plate. The items should include roli, moli, flowers, turmeric powder, raw milk, freshwater, a betel nut, some rice grains a betel leaf, halwa, puri and a few coins. You can replace halwa and puri with sweets if you are unable to prepare.
How To Perform The Evening Puja
1. Wear your new clothes and put on the jewellery, if you wish. You can also apply makeup to your face, to complete the 'Solah Sringar'.
2. Now start the puja by praying to Goddess Parvati and then you can chant the following mantra.
नमः शिवायै शर्वाण्यै सौभाग्यं संतति शुभाम्। प्रयच्छ भक्तियुक्तानां नारीणां हरवल्लभे॥
This mantra means, 'O beloved consort of Lord Shiva, please bestow long life of the husband and beautiful sons to your women devotees'.
3. While you are chanting the mantra, you then need to exchange your Karwa with the one that you prepared for Goddess Parvati and vice versa. This exchange of Karwa should go on for seven times.
4. After the puja is over, you should have Goddess Parvati's Karwa in your hand. You should then recite the story behind Karwa Chauth. After you have done reciting the story, you should then touch the feet of elder family members and take their blessings.
5. You can also join other women who are observing this fast and celebrate the festival. You can then listen to the Katha of Karwa Chauth from the eldest woman in the group. Once the Katha is over, close your eyes and recall Goddess Parvati.
6. After the completion of puja, donate your Karwa to poor or to elder women.
How To Worship Moon
1. After the moon is visible, go in an open space from where you can easily spot the moon.
2. Take your puja thali and lit a 'Diya'. After that, you should offer flowers, rice grains and sweets to moon and perform aarti of the moon.
3. After this, offer 'Arghya' to the moon and then take a sieve to watch the moon through it. While you are looking at the moon, pray for the well-being, health, safety and long life of your partner.
4. You can also skip praying the moon since you are unmarried and break your fast after spotting the pole star.
We hope you have a great time celebrating Karwa Chauth and your wishes come true.
Happy Karwa Chauth!