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Karva Chauth: From Bond to Gold, Festival Priorities Change with Times

Karva Chauth to be observed by married Hindu women for the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands, has been undergoing radical change of late with wives more attracted by market attractions for the occasion while jewelry firms are luring the Hindu wives with discounts like any other festival.

While wives pray for their husbands’ long life, in turn they are being prompted to gift her something that will assure her a lifetime of togetherness. Here is what jewlry makers are chipping in with discounts and teasers to prompt the husbands to return the love with gold.

One platinumm jewellery maker said, "Platinum echoes love and the vows you made to each other. It is symbolic of everlasting love and just like the bond you share, it is eternal, which will never fade or tarnish with time. Available at platinum authorised retailers across India, platinum jewellery designs are classic and elegant and priced at Rs. 25,000 onwards," goes on the advertisement, wooing consumers with bangles priced from Rs. 70,000 onwards.

Karva Chauth is a one-day festival observed by Hindu married women in North India by remaining on fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. Popular in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Punjab, the festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik. It is also known as Chhath in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and western Bihar, while a similar festival known as Teej is celebrated by Sindhis.


Otherwise, the festival Karva Chauth traces its origin to mythology. When ancient Princess Veeravati who was married to a king, on her first Karva Chauth, visited her parents and after rigorous fasting throughout the day fainted with weakness. Her brothers tricked her to see that the moon has risen and that she should break her fast. When she broke her fast, she was given the news that her husband, the king, was dead. Heartbroken, she tried to rush to her husband and entroute, she happened to meet Lord Shiva and Parvathi who tell her that it is a penance and fasting on Karva Chauth which will help bring back her husband. So did the King comes back alive and the legend keeps wives pray for their husband’s long lives ever since.


While the festival is popular in North India, the preparation for the Karva Chauth sees women plan for days in advance. Colourful outfits are a must while applying henna on hand is another grand feature. Usually wives take food before the sunrise on Karva Chauth that includes nuts, vermicelli kheer and mathri. Until the moon-rise, they are not supposed to eat or even drink, hence they are advised to eat more water in advance, called Sargi.

Experts advise good amount of nuts, fruits, multi-grain chapatti and paneer before the sunrise. Taking coffee or tea is never advised during the day but drinking fresh juice, milk, or buttermilk is advised if required. Once the moon rises, women dress up and gather to perform the puja and the katha is read aloud. A thali full of sweets, water, diya is passed around in a circle. Once moon rises, wives look at their husband through a sieve and then take a sip of water from his hands to break the fast.

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