* KARVA CHAUTH *
The auspicious day of Karva Chauth is celebrated amongst the North Indian community on the fourth day of Ashwin.
Karva Chauth is the celebration of spousal relationships where the Wife performs several rituals in hope for her Husband’s well-being. This day is also one celebrated between mothers, mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws.On this day married women wake before sunrise to prepare for the day by eating food called ‘sargi’ given by the mother-in-law. Following sunrise the fast begins which is kept from dawn to dusk with no food or water. This fast is then broken with the appearance of the moon. Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, Kartikeya and the moon are all worshipped on this day. The blessings of the gods are invoked for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands.
In the evening, the women wear their bridal finery including jewelry. The newly weds wear their wedding dress on this auspicious occasion. After dressing up she receives gifts from her mother-in-law.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.
Before the sunset, these women gather in one house in small groups and prepare for the puja. A puja chowk is beautifully decorated and image of Gauri Mata or goddess is placed. In olden days, this image was made of cow-dung. Then puja of Gauri maa is performed. A small pitcher or karva with some water is placed in the centre. The ladies circulate their Baya thalis, while the story is being narrated.After the evening puja the women wait for the moon rise. They worship the moon and then break their fast with water and eat food. The traditional gifts for this occasion are puja thali with bindi, mendhi and sindoor. The mother-in-law gives sargi to the daughter in law in the morning before sunrise and the mother sends baya to be given to the mother-in-law. Today, married women are showered with gifts like sarees, jewelry, designer clothes, bangles, henna/ mendhi from their husbands and other relatives.
◊llll Karwa Chauth - Katha llll◊
A money leander had seven son and one daughter. The daughter was youngest among them. That's why everybody adored her.
When she was 10 or 11 years of age they married her. After marriage on first karwa chauth, she came to her mother's house. Her mother-in-law affectionately sent sargai for her. She put mehndi(heena) on her hands along with her mother and bhabhis (brother's wife) and did sargai in the morning before sunrise and kept nirjal (without taking water) fast.
By the evening the brothers got worried that how can their small sister live without food and water till night. They consulted among themselves and decided that we will create artificial moon for their sister.
Two brothers went to the forest and burnt cowdung fuel cakes. The other two brothers went home and said "let's go sister the moon has risen". All her bhabhis (brother's wife's) kept quite. Sister said "let's go Bhabhi the moon has risen, lets worship the moon and offer ark (water is offered to the moon) to it. All the Bhabhi said "So early only your moon could have risen, you go."
She was not only young but also innocent; she really thought everyone's moon rises separately.
She hurriedly took the Pooja material to the terrace. There in the forest one brother was standing with a sieve in front of the cowdung fuel cakes, so from distance she thought that the moon is rising from behind bushes.
She offered her worship and ark to the moon .As soon as she started eating Puya's, she received a message from her in laws that her husband has become seriously ill suddenly.
On hearing this, the Girl's father and brothers along with her rushed to her in law's house. There her husband was seriously ill. Every body was worried.
Hakim (Doctor) was called but nobody could understand the illness.
Then the family enquired from priests and Astrologers. They told them that this has happened because the girl has eaten puya's, after seeing the artificial moon. Now the only solution is that till the next year karwa chauth, the girl takes good care of her husband, then keeps fast on Karwa Chauth and exchange karwa with Gaur Maata and makes her say "le suhaagan karwa le","de suhagaan karwa de". Then her husband will be well and will live long. On hearing this, the girl decided to take good care of her husband for one year.
Next year Karwa chauth arrived, her mother sent sargai for her. As per the tradition, she did sargai and kept fast. Her mother also sent material for baya, karwa and money.
In the evening, all married ladies dressed up wore beautiful sarees (chunari), making preparation for the pooja, she waited to exchange karwa with Gaur Maata.
When the first Gaur Maata arrived. The girl held her feet and pleaded her
After some time 2nd Gaur Maata came and she also went away saying what the earlier one had said. In this way they came one by one when the ninth Gaur Maara came, the girl was worried. When she begged her again and again and held her feet, then Gaur Maata said," when my youngest sister will come, you ask her , I will not say. My sister is scary looking but good at heart, don't let her go, make her say it."
After some time 10th Gaur maata came. She had dark complexion, had big teeth, horrible face and was wearing lot of jewelry. When she heard the small girl pleadings, she sat down with her to exchange karwa and like other Gaur Maata's said
The girl fell on her feet and said "O' Mother please forgive my mistakes, Please say "Le suhaagan karwa le". If you will say this , my husband will live. I will always worship you. Please bless me.
On girls repeated pleading, Gaur Maata felt pity for her and said-Let it be so and said "Le suhaagan karwa le" and the girl said "de suhaagan karwa de". Then, the same thing was repeated by both of them in reverse order. When they said this ten times Girls husband was well again. Everybody touched Gaur Maata's feet".
Karva Chauth Gifts To India