So today is the North Indian festival of Karva Chauth. On this day all married women fast the whole day and pray for their husband’s good health. This may sound cruel to you but it’s actually fun because fasting is only just a part of it. It’s also a day when women get together, put henna on their palms, get dressed in finest of their saris, wear jewelry and basically the works! It’s a girls night out or in.. just without food or water 🙂
When did this custom start? I don’t know thousands of years ago… Here’s how the legend goes. My grandmother tells this story on each karva chauth day and I thought I’d share it with you all.
The story of Karva Chauth
There was this young bride who had 7 brothers who loved her very much. Traditionally the first Karva Chauth after marriage is celebrated at the mother’s house so she was with her brothers and her folks at their house on the day of Karva Chauth. Now the fast is broken at Moon rise. Towards the end of the day when the brothers saw their sister was thirsty and hungry they tried to coax her into eating something. But the girl was determined. She wouldn’t break the fast. So the brothers thought of something. They created a “fake moon” by burning some fire behind a white sheet and called her sister and said “Look look the moon is out!” . Poor sister, was easy fooled and she did her prayers and broke the fast but the minute she had her first bite she gets a message from her in-laws house. Her husband just had an accident! She burst into tears and the brothers realized what they had done. They apologized to the sister but she was a mess! She went to everyone to help her and tell her what she could do. Prayed for days and one day a woman comes to her house and says to her. “I am the goddess of Karva Chauth and I am very pleased with your devotion. Your husband will recover in no time and from this day onwards all married women who keep this fast with devotion will have a long and happy married life”. So there you have it.. Karva Chauth…
Now lets get to the fun stuff. So yes, here in the US, my sister in law and I get dressed in our saris when we are back from work, wear makeup, bangles and everything. Keeps us distracted from the growling stomachs. We ask our husbands to pick up lots of good Indian food from our favorite restaurant so that when we see the moon, we can just jump right in. And when the moon comes up we look at the moon first through a sieve and then look at our husbands through the sieve. It’s very romantic! The husbands then give us water with their own hands and together we eat. It’s kinda cool.
What is not so cool is cloudy nights when we can’t see the moon! Today however seems like a really nice day so we’re hoping it’ll be early dinner for us 🙂 It’s 4:50 PM and I am doing really good. The trick is in keeping yourself busy.. really busy.
Diwali is only 10 days away!!!!
I will post some photos tomorrow.
Here are some photos. This one’s with my Sister in law (in pink) and her Mother.
The MOON! Finally!!!
Moon Viewing and Worship
SIL and I