Perhaps the one festival that all newly married women in North India look forward to is Karwa Chauth. The festival traditionally followed to pray for the long life of the husband, is not so much about fasting. It is more symbolic in nature, a celebration of sorts, of the institution of marriage.
Story of Karwa Chauth
The roots of the festival go back into mythology. The katha read during puja tells the tale of Princess Veeravati who gets married to a king. On her first Karwa Chauth, she decides to go visit her parents. The rigour of fasting all day renders her weak and she faints. Her seven brothers, who love her immensely, can not bear to see their sister in this state and trick her into thinking that the moon has risen. Just as she breaks her fast, she gets word that her husband, the king is dead. The queen is heartbroken and rushes to her husband’s palace. Enroute, she meets Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva who tell her that it is a penance and fasting on Karwa Chauth will help bring back her husband. The tale ends happily as the king gains consciousness and they live happily ever after.
Celebrated with great fervour in North India, married women start preparing for the festival a few days in advance. Their outfit is picked out, usually in bridal colours of red or pink. They buy new accessories to go with it and get henna put on their hands.
Karwa Chauth Vrat Vidhi
A tradition observed largely by Punjabis, is of Sargi – a sort of food hamper that a mother-in-law lovingly assembles for her daughter-in-law. It includes foods that one is supposed to eat early morning before sunrise on Karwa Chauth. It includes nuts, vermicelli kheer and even mathri. One is supposed to enjoy these treats before sunrise and have lots of water as you can not have any food or even water until the moon-rise.
Here are the mahurat timings to break your fast and perform the puja in 2017 –
Date: Sunday, 8th Oct
Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat = 17:42 to 18:54
Duration = 1 Hour 11 Mins
Moonrise On Karwa Chauth Day in Jakarta = 20:15
In the afternoon according to the muhurat, the ladies get together in a circle and complete the prayers. This is the song sung by punjabi women, while they exchange thalis seven times.
Veero Kudiye Karwada…., Sarv Suhagan Karwada…,
Aye Katti Naya Teri Naa, Kumbh Chrakhra Feri Naa,
Aar Pair payeen Naa, Ruthda maniyen Naa, Suthra Jagayeen Naa,
Ve Veero Kuriye Karwara,Ve Sarv Suhagan Karwara……. “
After the karwa chauth rituals and pooja are over during the afternoon, the wait for the moon to rise starts. It is customary that the sky will be cloudy and the moon will be sighted very late, after waiting and waiting… Many trips around the block straining to get a glimpse of the moon, coordinating with friends on whether they have managed to spot it.
Finally the moon is seen through a sieve, offer prayers and take a sip of water. Then for the special dinner with the family
Tips for Karwa Chauth
Our diet consultant Aditi Srivastava shares the following sargi tips for women observing Karwa Chauth:
- Include lots of fruits like banana, papaya, pomegranate, berries, apples etc. in the sargi
- Avoid oily and fried foods like paranthas and pakoras in the morning as these are heavy and may make you dizzy. Eat a heavy meal like multigrain chapatti with vegetables or paneer.
- Avoid tea or coffee as both of them tend to dehydrate you later in the day. Instead, drink up a glass of fresh juice, milk, buttermilk or a cup of green tea
- Avoid mithai/ sweets and instead opt for dates, figs or apricots
- Munch on a few nut like walnuts, almonds and pistachios
Having fasted all day, it is important that you be careful about how you break your fast. Aditi Srivastava shares:
- Start by drinking one glass of water and then munch on a few nuts. Take a couple of almonds, one or two walnuts and a few sunflower seeds.
- Your stomach’s acidity levels are probably already high, so avoid drinking tea or coffee. It’ll only make things worse.
- Avoid oily, spicy and fried foods. Opt for light and easily digestible foods like idli ,dosa, uttapam with sambhar/ vegetables, dalia, oat meal chapatti with vegetables or paneer bhurji/steamed rice or pulao with dal, etc.
- Eat some yogurt.
- For those with a sweet tooth, you may eat two or three dates, a small piece of dark chocolate or homemade kulfi to finish off your meal.