Karwa Chauth Today!

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New Delhi: Karwa Chauth will be observed today on Sunday, October 24. It is a significant festival for Hindu women in India and is celebrated widely across north Indian states like Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Women adorn themselves in new clothes and ‘solah shringar’ and perform Karwa Chauth puja for a happy and blissful marriage. On this day, women observe a day-long nirjala fast, which means they avoid consuming water or food between sunrise and sunset on this day.

The origin of Karwa Chauth can be traced back to Mahabharata when Savitri begged the god of death, Lord Yama, for her husband’s soul.

Another episode in the epic talks about Pandavas and their wife Draupadi. It is said that Arjuna went to the Nilgiris to pray and meditate for a few days, worried about his safety Draupadi sought her brother Krishna’s help. He advised her to observe a strict fast just like Goddess Parvati did for her husband Shiva’s safety. Draupadi adhered to it, and soon Arjuna returned home safely.

On this day, married women observe a nirjala vrat (fasting without water). They also pray for a healthy, prosperous, and long life for their husbands. Women worship Karva Mata, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Kartikeya on this day and take a sankalpa (pledge) to observe the vrat with utmost devotion and sincerity. Additionally, women begin their fast from sunrise and don’t consume even a drop of water, let alone food, until they see the moon. Fasting women also apply henna to their hands and deck up in make-up, clothes and jewellery.

Though, popular culture has told us that during Karva Chauth, women fast throughout the day and deck up in beautiful clothes and jewellery. The actual traditions vary in each state. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, women pass pots called karvas among themselves, seeing the moon’s reflection in the water or through a sieve. After this, they offer water to the moon and then drink water from their husband’s hands. Women then break their fast and eat.

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