Karwa Chauth 2017: Here’s the significance, rituals and history of the festival | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Karwa Chauth 2017: Here’s the significance, rituals and history of the festival

This year, the festival will be celebrated on October 8, 2017. Here’s all you need to know about it.

art and culture Updated: Oct 08, 2017 08:32 IST
On this day, married women fast until moonrise. They offer their prayers to the moon, before ending the fast.
On this day, married women fast until moonrise. They offer their prayers to the moon, before ending the fast. (Shutterstock)

The festival of Karwa Chauth is celebrated by married Hindu women across Northern India. This year, the festival will be celebrated on October 8, 2017. As per the Hindu calendar, the festival falls during the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in the month of Kartik.

On this day, married women fast until moonrise. They offer their prayers to the moon, before ending the fast.

Significance:

Queen Veeravati’s story is associated with the significance of Karwa Chauth. Veeravati returned to her parents’ house on the day of Karwa Chauth. She observed a strict fast, however she couldn’t stand the effects of fasting for too long. By evening, Veeravati was weak and fainted. She had seven brothers who loved her a lot and couldn’t see her plight. They made her end the fast by deceiving her after creating a fire and told their sister that the fire’s glow was the moonlight.

However, the moment she ate, Veeravati heard that her husband, the king, was dead. She was heartbroken and left for her husband’s palace. On her way she met Lord Shiva and Parvati and informed them about her husband’s death. When the queen asked for forgiveness for breaking the fast, Parvati granted her the boon that the king would be revived but would be ill.

When she reached the palace, she found her husband lying unconscious with hundreds of needles in his body. Each day, the queen would remove one needle from the king’s body. Next year, on the day of Karwa Chauth, only one needle remained.

Veeravati observed a strict fast and she went to the market to buy karwa for the puja. Her maid removed the needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness and mistook the maid to be the queen. When Veeravati returned to the palace, she was made to serve as maid.

Once when the king was travelling to another kingdom, her asked the real queen if she wanted anything. She asked him to bring two identical dolls. The king obliged and the queen sang, “Roli ki Goli Ho Gayi, Goli Ki Roli Ho Gayi (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen).

He asked her why did she sing the song and Veeravati narrated the story. Thus, the real queen was finally given her royal status.

Rituals:

Women rise early and start their day with sargi, a meal prepared by their mother-in-law. After this meal, they don’t consume any food or water till moonrise. Women also pray to Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Kartik. In the evening, women perform a puja, offer foods to the deities and pray for the safety and longevity of their husbands.

When the moon has been spotted, women will look at the moon and their husbands through a sieve, and the men will offer their wives water to break their fast.

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