Karva Chauth is a widely celebrated festival in India. The festival is celebrated by married women who fast and worship the moon on this day for the long and healthy life of their husbands. The festival is celebrated in the Kartik month of Hindu calendar on the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi. It is celebrated across the country but its more popular in the northern cities of India, specifically Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
According to the ancient scriptures and mythological texts, Karva Chauth is a one-day Hindu festival, when women neither eat food nor drink water from sunrise to moonrise. Some folklores claim that Draupadi from the Mahabharata also kept a vrat (fast) for her 5 Pandav husbands when they went to the Nilgiri mountain. Apart from this, there are many other stories related to the Karva Chauth Vrat.
A commonly believed folklore states that the festival is based on a real-life story of a married woman who was known as Karwa. Karwa’s husband was taking a bath in a river when a crocodile attacked him, witnessing this, Karwa ran towards her husband to save him. She bound the crocodile and saved her husband. When Lord Yama reached there he saw an injured crocodile. Lord Yama was so impressed by the courage that Karwa showed that he granted her husband a long and healthy life and sent the crocodile to hell.
The story of queen Veervati is also popular and is told during the puja of Karwa Chauth. The queen was at her parents' home for the Karwa Chauth and her brother illusioned the moon over a tree using a mirror and asked her to end the difficult fast out of love and concern for her. But the moment she ended her fast the news of her husband's death came and she started weeping uncontrollably. Then a goddess arrived and informed her that she was tricked by her brothers and if she will keep another fast with undiverted devotion, her husband will be alive again. She did exactly what was instructed and her husband was alive again.
Another story that is popular and finds its mention in the spiritual and mythological books is the story of Satyavan and Savitri. Lord Yama came to end the life of Satyavan, Savitri his wife begged to Lord Yama to grant his life. When Lord Yama refused Savitri started following Lord Yama. After this, the God of death asked her to seek any wish apart from her husband’s life. Savitri gave a thought to this wish and clearly asked to be blessed with children and to bless her with children Lord Yama had to grant her husband’s life. On that day Lord Yama blessed Satyavan with a long and healthy life and from then onwards Karva Chauth is being celebrated.
The fast of Karva Chauth begins before the sunrises. The married women are offered ‘Sargi’, a meal made by her mother-in-law which she must eat before the sunrise and keep the fast till the moon rises on the same evening. Women wear their bridal outfits, apply henna on hands and feet, wear jewelry, mangalsutra and all the things that a bride is entitled to wear.
During the day time, married women worship Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and their Son Lord Ganesha and listen to the popular folk stories of Karva Chauth. When the moon appears women worship the moon and offer it ‘Aragya’ water from a pot which is known as Karva. After worshipping the moon they break their fast and have food, water, and sweets. ‘Bayna’ or ‘Baya’ is a plate containing gifts are also exchanged between the married women in the family on Karva Chauth.
Although the festival is celebrated in the entire northern region of the country but the festival holds special significance in Punjab. Here in Punjab, the ‘Sargi’ plate comprises of fruits, sweets, dry fruits, coconut, jewelry, clothes, and cooked food as well.
By Road. Traveling by road Punjab is approx. 400km, 1600km, 1900km and 2500km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. One may also reserve a seat in the inter-state tourist buses to Punjab.
By Rail. Traveling by rail is another convenient option to reach Punjab and witness the festival in their local style. Amritsar junction, Ludhiana junction, Pathankot Junction are a few popular railway stations of Punjab. Shane Punjab, Jalianwala Bagh Express, Amritsar Shatabdi are a few popular trains in which one may make the bookings to reach Punjab.
By Air. Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Pathankot Airport, Ludhiana Airport are a few popular airports that receive direct and connecting flights from all the other major airports of India.
17th October 2019
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