‘Karwa Chauth’ is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated by married women of northern India; however, down south in the state of Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as ‘Atla Tadde’. Women observe a seemingly arduous, day long fast without even a single drop of water. The fast is broken only on sighting the moon and of course their husbands through a strainer or sieve.
There is a very interesting fact that explains why the women look at the moon through sieve. Karwa Chauth is celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. Hindus believe that in the month of ‘Kartik’ the moon represents Lord Shiva and Ganesha; therefore, the women use a sieve to look at them, as a mark of respect. It is common for Hindu married women to cover their face with ‘ghoonghat’ when they face elders.
When is Karwa Chauth 2020?
Karwa Chauth is celebrated in the month of ‘Kartik’ which is 7th month according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. The month usually coincides with English calendar months of October and November. The festival is observed on the 4th day after the full moon in Kartik month.
The auspicious Karwa Chauth puja timing and fast timing are given below –
Karwa Chauth 2020 Day and Date – Wednesday, November 4
Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat – 05:34 PM to 06:52 PM
Karwa Chauth Upvasa (fast) timing – 06:35 AM to 08:12 PM
Also, the Chaturthi tithi will last from 03:25 AM beginning on November 4 to 05:14 AM on November 5.
Which Hindu deity is revered on Karwa Chauth?
Lord Shiva, his wife Goddess Parvati and their sons Lord Ganesha and Kartikeye are revered by the married women observing the fast. The marital relationship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is considered blissful, auspicious and filled with happiness. Hence, the married women seek their blessings for the same marital bliss and longevity for their partners.
Karwa Chauth Significance, Rituals and Beliefs
‘Karwa’ in Hindi refers to an earthen pot and Chauth means ‘the fourth’. The most appropriate and logical explanation of the name ‘Karwa Chauth’ lies in the festival being celebrated in the sowing season of wheat, during the start of rabi crop cycle.
Wheat is a major crop eaten widely in the northern belt of India. This explains why Karwa Chauth is celebrated widely in north Indian states. Fast observed during the beginning of season is supposed to seek blessings for a good harvest.
Another belief is that the festival originated long time back in the regions of Multan and Lahore. When men, mostly belonging to Hindu clan, were out on war, their women observed fast and prayed for their safety and longevity.
Some specific groups also believe that the festival is symbolic of feminine bonds. It is observed to provide psychological and emotional support to a woman who, after her marriage, begins living with completely strange people and in a different family altogether. A female friend for the new bride is found from the same village so that their friendship lasts longer.
The friend must be a married woman and of more or less the same age as the new bride, and they also must not be related to each other by blood. It is done so that the bride has a friend to share her happiness, sorrow and secrets, with a friend in an entirely new place.
Even today in parts of Haryana and Punjab, women exchange pots filled with articles and goodies for each other, as a mark of mutual friendship bonds and love.