Karaka Chaturthi (Karva Chauth) will be celebrated on 17th October this year.
Karva Chauth is an important festival for all married women. From sunrise till sunset, married women keep a fast for the safety and long life of their partners. The meaning of Karva Chauth is offering Argya to the moon using an earthen pot known as Karwa on the Chaturthi of the Karthika month. It falls on the fourth day of the dark fortnight in the Kartika month every year.
It began in the northwestern region of India. At that time, there were military regimes and campaigns by the Hindus who were protecting the country from the Mughal invasions. The wives and children were thus left alone as their husbands went to protect the country.
It is said that to keep their minds at peace, away from the worry of their husbands, the women called a day for getting together with all their female friends, where they made special dishes, dressed up their best. Those women, whose husbands were already at war, would join in with the others and pray for their loved ones.
This was also why they would fast, in order to keep their husbands safe from the evil.
There is another story behind the origins of this festival. In earlier times, girls were married off at a very early age. Many a time, their in-laws would be residing somewhere far. Thus, the girl had nobody to converse to or share her problems with. So, to overcome this, the girl would make a female friend upon reaching her in-laws’ house and this friend was looked upon as a ‘god-sister’. The duo would be expected to talk every day, share all their problems and comfort each other. And, the festival of Karva Chauth was celebrated to mark the significance of their unique bond.
A day before Karva Chauth, these women would buy karvas or clay pots, paint them on the outside and fill them up with candy, bangles, small items of clothing, cosmetics, ribbons and more, and exchange these with their ‘god-sisters’.