When is Karva Chauth in 2013?
Karwa Chauth in 2013 will be celebrated on 22nd October. It’s not just a fast but has deeper meaning. Karva Chauth is a fast undertaken by married women who offer prayers seeking the longevity, prosperity and well being of their husband. Over years, this fast has become very popular among youngsters too, who fast for their partners. The calculation of the date of Karva Chauth in 2012 is on the basis of the traditional Hindu calendar. Generally, Karva Chauth falls about nine days prior to Deepavali as Kartik Chauth somewhere in October and November.
This fast is particularly popular in North India and there is more to the fast as it is an occasion for women to indulge in a lot of fun and frolick. Wearing bright colourful clothes, beautiful ornaments and flaunting exquisite henna designs on their hands, women celebrate it like a festival with tremendous fervor. Married women dedicate the evening to rituals, offering prayers to Goddess Gauri seeking her blessings for a happy married life. Competitions, non-stop dancing, great music and good food make the fast an interesting one. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Karva Chauth in 2013 will be one of the most awaited occasions for women all over India and Indians abroad. The main element of the Karwa Chauth in 2013 will be beautiful women dressed in red sareer observing fast for the long and successful life of their husbands. According to Hindu scriptures, a husband is more than just a life partner. He becomes her protector after she leaves her parents home. Her husband provides her with food, shelter, clothing, respectability, comfort and happiness and so this bond is primarily a sacrosanct one.
Literally, the term 'Chauth' means the 'fourth day' and 'Karwa' which is an earthen pot with a spout. This is symbolic of peace and prosperity – this earthen pot is necessary for the rituals. If Karwa Chauth in 2012 is your first such fast, here a brief outline of some important rituals to follow:
- Married women observe a strict fast and abstain from food and water
- Wake up early in the morning, perform their ablutions, and wear new and festive clothes.
- Before evening, the married woman receives the baya or a basket full of goodies from her mother, which is meant for the mother-in-law.
- Shiva, Parvati Ganesh , Kartikeya and the moon are worshipped on this day along with the 10 'karwas' (earthen pots) filled with sweets. The Karwas are given to daughters and sisters along with gifts
- Before the sun sets, most of the women in a locality gather in one house and prepare a corner for the puja.
- In this corner, they place a decorated puja chowk with a platform against the wall, which is meant to place the items of puja and idols as well as pictures of Goddess Karwa or Ma Parvati. In olden days, cow dung was to be used for creating picture or idol of Ma Karwa.
- At night woman wait to get a glimpse of the moon and see both the moon and her husband through a sieve. It’s only after their husband offers them the first morsel that they break the fast.
Karva Chauth in 2013 will see women home or in the colony gather sing, dance and narrate and hear the vrat katha together. All this adds significance to the celebration. The festival of Karva Chauth had emerged as a day to celebrate the onset of autumn and spend time with friends and relatives. Many connect it with mythological legends that give the festival a religious significance. All Hindus as well as Sikhs celebrate this festival passionately in the North-Western region of India. Very recently some men also forsake food for the day, in order to show their love and support for their wives. For those observing Karva Chauth in 2013, here a legend associated with the occasion that you might find interesting:
Long long ago there was a pious lady called karwa who lived with her husband on the bank of a river. While bathing in the river a crocodile caught hold of him. He yelled his wives name for help. Karwa ran to help her husband and to do so she tied the crocodile with the help of a yarn. After that she went to seek help from Yamraj( the god of Death) asking him take away the life of the crocodile and save her husband. Yamraj explained that it was not possible as the crocodile was meant to live its life span. This angered Karva who warned Yamraj of her curse to kill him. Yamraj got scared for he knew that Karwa had spiritual power. He went and saved her husband killing the crocodile and banishing him to Hell. Thus, the pious Karwa saved her husband’s life. For years, women have been celebrating Karva Chauth as an expression of a woman love for her man.
For some women, Karva Chauth in 2013 will be like reliving a Bollywood fantasy, for others it's all about decking up head to toes in the finest jewelry and clothes and for some it is just a fad. However, this sacred fast to pray for the husband's long life, Karva Chauth has evolved into a modern-day festival as in contemporary times it is celebrated as a romantic occasion. The bustling market areas flocked by women purchasing jewellery, bangles, sindoora and other puja related items is sure to signal that Karwa Chauth in 2013 is near. The festivity has for years not lost its spirit and color, and is observed ardently by the women and men all over India. On this occasion what more can we say to our visitors than- Happy Karva Chauth 2013!!