What is Karvachauth?

What is Karvachauth?  This year Karwachauth is going to be observed on Oct 30th.  It is a festival which is celebrated mostly by North Indian women where the festival begins just before sunrise and until after the moonrise.  “Karva” means earthen pot and “Chauth” means fourth referencing that the festival falls on fourth day of the kartik month of the Hindu calendar.

Here is the picture of my 1st karvachauth with my younger sister in law.  I am wearing my reception outfit as it is my first one.


This fast is observed by all the married women for their husbands long life and prosperity.  Women start preparing for this fast a few days ahead.  Markets in India are full of ladies shopping for new outfits, jewelry, make up, getting henna tattoos done.  I did it this Mandala design a couple of years back myself, as I really wanted to do it but couldn’t have it done with kids.


All the women observing Karvachauth would wake up before sunrise and have “sargi” which comprises of coconut, sweets, vermicelli (Feni) and meal of their choice.  After the sun rises, they cannot eat or drink anything until the moon rises.  “Sargi” is given by your mother in law to begin your fast.  Along with the food items, usually a gift is included as a blessing from her.  Myself and my mother in law back in 2009 for karvachauth celebrations at the Mandir in Staten Island, NY.


When I was little, I used to go with my mom to do the rituals and loved it.  I used to help my mom pick her outfit and the jewelry to go with it.  The colors chosen for Karwachauth usually are red, pink, burgundy or orange tones which are shagun colors in Indian culture.  I used to think, when it is time for me do Karvachauth, will I be able to do it?  I guess it all works out and you don’t even feel it.  I have been married for 10 years and I did get to celebrate with my Mom in 2013 when I moved to Fl.


Before the sunsets, women perform prayers where they sit in a circle and do the ritual. There are so many tales about the origin of Karvachauth, but we grew up hearing the story of Queen Veeravati.

Story of VeeraVati:

“A beautiful queen called Veervati was the only sister of seven loving brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth as a married woman at her parents’ house. She began a strict fast after sunrise but, by evening, was desperately waiting for the moonrise as she suffered severe thirst and hunger. Her seven brothers couldn’t bear to see their sister in such distress and created a mirror in a pipal tree that made it look as though the moon had risen. The sister mistook it for the moon and broke her fast. The moment she ate, word arrived that her husband, the king, was dead. Heartbroken, she wept through the night until her shakti compelled a Goddess to appear and ask why she cried. When the queen explained her distress, the Goddess revealed how she had been tricked by her brothers and instructed her to repeat the Karva Chauth fast with complete devotion. When Veervati repeated the fast, Yama was forced to restore her husband to life.”

This is at the Mandir in FL, where we are doing our prayers.


Once the prayers are done, women wait for the moon to rise patiently.  These days women get together at someone’s house so that they pass their time chit chatting or watching a movie with one another.


After the moon rises, women break their fast by seeing the moon through a sieve and then seeing their husbands face.  Husband offer water and sweet to their wives to break the fast.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together with all the colorful pics.

Happy Karwachauth to all of you who are observing.


Source:  Wikipedia and other internet sites

Featured image: blog.fnp.com




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