Karwa Chauth is a beautiful festival which celebrates the love and relationship of a husband and wife. Women pray for the welfare and longevity of their husbands.
Karwa Chauth Puja Preparations
The women rise early in the morning and prepare food which they must have before sunrise. They worship Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, Kartikeya and the moon for a successful fast.
The pre-dawn meal is known as ‘sargi’ which is usually given by the mother-in-law to her daughter-in-law. Sargi consists of scrumptious dishes – cereal, dry fruits, nuts, sweets and fruits. The fasting for the day begins after the woman finishes her pre-dawn meal. Women do not eat or drink until the sight the moon in the evening.
During the day, the festivities include applying mehendi on the hands and feet of the ladies. Preparations for the evening puja begin as well, which is usually held at a common place for all the ladies.
As a custom, the mothers of all the fasting ladies send a basket full goodies, sarees, fruits and sweets for the mother-in-law. This is called the ‘Baya’ and it should be sent before evening sets.
Karwa Chauth Pooja Vidhi
In the evening, the women dress up in bridal finery and proceed to the common place to worship the Goddess. It is norm to carry a special mud pot filled with flowers, water, fruits, a Gauri idol, food grains and some clay for this puja.
After offering their worship, the women then clean the puja platform and adorn it with images of Gauri or Goddess Parvati. Rice, sindoor and incense sticks are also placed on the platform.
The women then place their respective Bayas on a thaali along with a little water. This is followed by tying red thread around the karwa and applying teeka on their maang and foreheads.
An elderly lady of the group then narrates the story of karwa chauth. While listening, the women light the earthen lamp in their thali and offer pooja to the deities. After the Pooja, the thali is passed on to the eldest lady of the gathering who blesses all the women.
Karwa Chauth Vrat Vidhi
At dusk, the women return to their homes and wait for the moon to rise. A pooja thali is prepared with a sieve and a small water pot. Generally, women generally gather on the house terrace and offer prayers to the moon seven times.
They also sing traditional Karwa Chauth songs as part of their prayer. It is customary not to see the face of the moon directly but to see its reflection through a thali filled with water or dupatta or a sieve.
After seeing the moon, every fasting lady offers water to the moon to seek its blessings. She prays for the prosperity, welfare and longevity of her husband and family. She next sees her husband’s face, who offers her food to break her day-long fast.
The festival ends with the whole family feasting and celebrating the occasion by exchanging wishes and gifts.
Pooja Thali Decoration
The thali or plate can be of brass, steel or silver. The Pooja thali usually consists of kumkum, chawal, a glass filled with water, an earthen lamp, dry fruits and sweets. The samagri or the materials are also kept in separate small bowls to prevent roli and chawal from spreading in the thali.
Thali is usually decorated with flowers, petals, and leaves. A mud or a metal pot of water is a must since it is used to offer water to the moon. Chalni is placed on top of the thali to sight the moon and then the husband. A cloth is required to cover the thali.