Karwa Chauth is a women's festival in which wives keep fasting for the well-being of their husbands. How did Karwa Chauth begin? What is the origin and history of Karwa Chauth? Here is everything you need to know!
The most beautiful part of our country is its rich and varied culture. Every festival imaginable is celebrated here with great pomp and joy. From Navratri to Dhanteras and from Gudi Padwa to Karwa Chauth, India embraces all festivals with open arms. This brings to mind the upcoming festival of Karwa Chauth.
Karwa Chauth is observed by Punjabis, Hindus and Sikhs, and is conducted by women for the safety, well-being and long lives of their husbands. The term Karwa Chauth can further be broken down, wherein karwa refers to a pot and chauth means the fourth. As this festival is celebrated on the fourth day after the full moon in the month of Kartik, this etymology makes complete sense. In recent times, Karwa Chauth is celebrated in a grand style and is even depicted in movies as a larger-than-life phenomenon. Wondering, where and how did Karwa Chauth really begin? Scroll down to know more!
Well, it all began in the northwestern region of India. Earlier, there were military regimes and campaigns by the Hindus, who were defending our country from Mughal invasions. This only meant that the wives and children were left alone, while their husbands went to protect the country.
So, perhaps to keep their minds occupied, the women planned a day of meeting and greeting, where they would make special dishes, dress up in their best and have a good time with all their female friends. Those whose husbands were already at war, would join in with the others and pray for their husbands’ safety and well-being. This was also why they would fast, in order to keep their husbands safe from the wrath of the enemy.
There is, however, yet another story behind the origins of this festival. Many years ago, girls married off at a really young age. More often than not, their in-laws would be residing somewhere far away. As a result, the girl had nobody to talk to or share her problems with. Communication in those days was poor. So, to combat this, it was decided that the girl would make a female friend upon reaching her in-laws' house and this friend, was looked at as a 'god-sister'. The duo would be expected to talk every day, share all their problems and comfort each other. And, the festival of Karwa Chauth was celebrated to mark the significance of their special bond.
A day before Karwa Chauth, these women would buy karwas or clay pots, paint them on the outside and fill them up with candy, bangles, small items of clothing, cosmetics, ribbons and more, and exchange these with their god-sisters.
Whatever the origins may be, there is no doubt that Karwa Chauth is a ladies function, where women bond with each other and have a wonderful time in general, whilst also praying for their husbands’ long lives. The day-long fast, the ritual of passing the puja thali around in a circle, breaking the fast when the moon rises, are all celebrated to date with zest. In fact, Karwa Chauth also features in mythology, in popular tales of Satyavan, Savitri, Draupadi, and the Pandavas, in the Mahabharata, where the wives seek their husband’s long life. Similar festivals include Chhath, which is celebrated in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar and Teej, which is celebrated in Sindh.
There you go, ladies! You now know all that you need to, about this popular festival. So now, when this festival arrives, you can proudly tell one and all the real stories behind Karwa Chauth! Happy fasting!