Mostly celebrated in Northern India, Karwa Chauth is a festival that falls 9 days prior to Diwali. It actually falls on the fourth day of the Karthik month on the day of Krishna Paksh. Fasting by Married Women is the main ritual that is being followed since ages and thus on the day of the puja these women have their food before Sunrise to keep a day long fast till the Moon arise. Fasting is usually done for the long and healthy life of the husband. The meal they take early in the morning is known as ‘Sargi’.
Dressed in beautiful Clothes and applying Mehendi and Heena on their hands, the women decked up gorgeously in the evening during the puja and prepare the Thali of the puja beautifully.
Karwa Chauth Puja Process
- Idol of Goddess Gaurimade of Earth and Cow Dung
- A Kalash filled with Water
- Baayna or a Clay Pot (Karwa) filled with Wheat Grains, Sugar and Money is sent to the married women from their Father’s Home
- Thali for the Aarti is prepared with Roli, Chawal, Incense Sticks, Earthen lamp, Flowers, Vermilion and a Glass of Water
- Pata and Aasan
- Special Halwa is made for offering to the Moon during the puja
- Newly Married Women are sent Karva by their Mother
Other ingredients required are decorated Sieve (Chalni), Sandalwood Powder and a fancy Veil to cover the Puja Thali.
Performing the Karwa Chauth Puja
At the time of Karwa Chauth Puja in the evening, all the married women sit in a circle with the idol of Goddess Gauri placed in the middle. A pitcher filled with water is kept beside the idol. All the women put tilak and pray to the Goddess to seek her blessings. An elderly woman reads the Karwa Chauth story while the others listen to it. After completing the story the puja thali is rotated while singing the Karwa Chauth song. As the puja ends, every woman returns back to their respective homes.
Married women break their fast after the Moon rises. As the moon appears in the sky, they see the moon through the Sieve (Chalni), offers Prasad and then see the face of their husband through the same sieve. Prasad includes Dry Fruits like- Cashew Nuts and Almonds and also some Snacks items. Thereafter the fast is broken by eating the Prasad and Water kept in the Thali.
On Karwa Chauth Women wear heavy Saris of Red and Pink along with Zari work and even put Bindi, Nose Pin, Bangles and other Jewelries to make them look like brides.
This way the Karwa Chauth Puja is performed with great devotion and enthusiasm by the married women of Northern India.