Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Karva Chauth - Details, Information and Legend about Festival

Karva Chauth is a fasting observed by the Hindu women for the long life, health and prosperity of their husband. . The word Karwa (Karva) means a clay pot and chauth means fourth, as the festival is commemorated on the fourth day after the full moon in Kartik month of Hindu calendar. It is a festival that is of great importance to the women and celebrated throughout India with zeal and enthusiasm. The women break their fast after the moon has risen. Their consume the first morsel from the hands of their husbands. Even though the fast is tough, women wait eagerly for this festival, especially the newly married brides who deck up I their finest attire and jewelry which is symbolic of a married woman. The husband in turn gift their wife beautiful gifts. The women carry out pooja to Lord Ganesha praying for the long life’s of their husbands and that they should leave the earth as married women and not as a widow.

First of all Lord Shiva told this story (katha) to Mata parvati. Lord Krishna also narrated this katha to Draupadi and asked her to observe the fast for the safety of her husbands in the battlefield. The story is given below.

This fast first took place between Siva and parvati Thereafter, the very first time this vrat was observed in the town of Shukraprastha by Veeravati, the daughter of Vedsharma and Leelavati. Ever since this fast has been observed by married women till the present day. As the legend goes, Veeravati was married to aking and on the day of Karva chauth she came to her mothers place. As the princess was fragile she fainted due to the fast. Seeing this her brothers burned wood on the nearby hill and deceived her by saying that the moon has risen.

 Veeravati broke her fast due to which her husband wa taken ill. When she cam to know about it, the sorrowful queen left for her husbands house and met Parvathi on the way who granted her a boon stating that her husband would live but be unconscious state. The queen reached the palace, and found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles inserted in his body. Each day, the queen managed to remove one needle from the king’s body. Next year, on the day of Karva Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king.The queen observed a strict fast that day and she went to the market to buy the karva for the puja.

Meanwhile, her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. It was the moment when the king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid.But Veeravati didn’t lose her courage and religiously observed the Karva Chauth vrat. Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. The queen said, “I want a pair of identical dolls”. The king obliged. As the queen received the dolls, she started singing “the queen has turened into a maid and the maid into a queen”. On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen to her royal status.
During the pooja the women of the neighborhood usually gather in someone’s house and perform the pooja together. They then recite the above story to each other and open their fast. The family sits down for a grand vegetarian feast.

It is only in India that we see such love and care that the women have for their husbands and the position that they occupy in their hearts. For the Indian woman it is not merely a custom, but has deeper and greater significance and a way of expressing their undying love and affection for their husbands

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