Karva Chauth is a Hindu festival celebrated by women, mostly in the Northern part of India. In which every married women fast from the time sunrise to moonrise for the safety and long life of their husbands. It is also seen sometimes unmarried women join the fast for their fiancés or desired husbands.
Why this day is celebrated as Karva Chauth? According to Mahabharata, it is been seen when Savitri begged Lord Yama, the god of death, for her husband’s soul. Another episode is when when Arjuna went to the Nilgiris to pray and meditate for a few days, leaving the rest of the Pandavas and Draupadi behind, his wife got worried and she sought Lord Krishna’s help. He advised her to fast for Arjuna’s well-being and reminded her how goddess Parvati did the same for Shiva’s safety. Draupadi adhered to the fast, following all its rituals carefully and soon Arjuna returned home.
The festival is also associated with wheat-sowing time or the beginning of the rabi crop-cycle, which is probably why Karva Chauth is observed in most agriculture-dependent regions like Rajasthan, Punjab, western UP, etc.
Also it is been called as Karva Chauth because Karva’ means earthen pots used to store wheat and ‘chauth’ means the fourth day, this day comes every year on the fourth of the Kartik month according to the Hindu Calender where married women and those reaching the marriageable age pray for the safety and long life of their husbands, fiancés or desired husbands.
Women begin preparing for Karva Chauth a few days in advance, by buying cosmetics, traditional adornments or jewelry, and puja items, such as the Karva lamps, matthi, henna and the decorated puja thali. There is also one ritual under which, the mother-in-law presents a thali called sargi for her daughter-in-law, mostly consisting of eatables like mithai, matthri, dry fruits, coconut and gifts like saris and jewellery.On this day Women fast throughout the day, without even drinking a glass of water after sunrise. It is only when the moon rises that they eat something to break their fast. On this day, men are supposed to feed the first bite of food to their wives. According to the religious text, the moon on this day is said to be representative of Lord Shiva or Lord Ganesha.