New Delhi, Oct 27: Today is the most auspicious day for married women in India and it is called Karwa Chauth or Karva Chauth. On this day, women observe a day-long (from sunrise to moonrise) fast and pray for their husband’s long life.
The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon or Purnima, which is Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in the month of Kartik as per the Hindu lunar calendar.
From sunrise till moonrise, she keeps a fast for the safety of her husband. Keeping a fast without drinking water and eating any food all through the day seems to be a difficult one but the doting wives perform all these with much love and respect in their head and heart for their loving husbands.
The women wake up at sunrise and eat the sargi, which includes fruits, sweets, and sevvaiyan. Then they go on a day-long fast till the moon can be seen in the sky.
At moonrise, women look through a chhalani at their husbands and break their fast and eat and drink water only after that.
But have you ever wondered why do women look at their husbands through a chhalani at Karva Chauth?
There is a popular folklore behind it which revolves around the Queen Veervati.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful queen named Veervati who was the only sister among seven loving and caring brothers. In one of the Karwa Chauth she was at her parents place and began a strict fast after sunrise. In the evening she was waiting eagerly for the moonrise as she was suffering from hunger and thirst. The brothers were pained by seeing their sister in suffering. So, they created a mirror in a Pipal tree that made it look as if the Moon is up in the sky. she believed her brothers and broke the fast.
But the moment she took a morsel in her mouth, the family was informed by a servant that her husband was dead. She was heartbroken and wept all night long. Since she was not actually guilty, goddess appeared in front of her. When Veervati told the goddess about her story, the goddess asked her to observe a strict Karwa Chauth fast again for her husband. Veervati observed the fast again and worshipped the moon with a chhalani. Seeing this dedication, Yama, the god of death, was forced to bring her husband back to life and thus, the chhalani became an integral part of the festival of Karva Chauth.
There is another reason behind this tradition as well. It is believed that when a wife looks at her husband through the chhalani, all the ill-will and negative emotions are filtered through it, bringing bliss in the marital relationship.
One ancient story related with Karwa Chauth from the pages of the Mahabharata:
It is said that Draupadi also observed this Karwa Chauth. Once Arjuna, the one whom Darupadi loved the most went to the Nilgiri mountains for self-penalty and thus the rest of the brothers were facing challenges without him. Now, Draupadi remembered Lord Krishna in this situation to ask what should be done to resolve the challenges. Lord Krishna narrated a story of Goddess Parvati where in a similar situation she performed the Karwa Chauth rituals. So, Draupadi then followed the strict rituals of Karwa Chauth and Pandavas resolved their problems.