Karva Chauth Festival Celebrations
Women in the north and north-western parts of India usually celebrate Karwa Chauth, because the festival is little known in the southern parts of the country. The married women, who celebrate the festival, wake up early in the morning, well before the dawn. After taking bath, they clad themselves in new clothes and have a meal, which is known as 'sargi'. As a part of the traditions of Karwa Chauth, 'sargi' is presented to the married woman by her mother-in-law. However, the woman, who observes fast, can also prepare the meal on her own. The meal consists of selected grains and fruits.
After having the sargi, the women observe a fast and do not consume even a drop of water for the entire day. In fact, it is believed that when a woman is bound to abstain from food and water, she actually adds more years to the life of her husband. Therefore, the married women observe a stringent fast on Karva Chauth, to ensure that their husband lives for long. Even if they observe fast, they would not restrict themselves from doing their daily chores. Woman used to take off for the day. However, today, they would also make it to the office and work, besides the fact that they starve for the whole day. Karwa Chauth puja is usually conducted somewhere between 4 pm or 5 pm.
The married woman calls upon other women in her locality to her place, to take part in Karwa Chauth pooja. Goddess Gauri is worshipped at the puja. A two-inch tall idol of Gauri Mata is made by using cow dung and a picture of the idol of Parvati is kept aside, in the puja. A song of Karwa Chauth is sung when women perform aarti. By the time the pooja is over, it would be the dusk. Women, along with their children, eagerly wait for the moon to rise. Once the moon rises, the women would see its reflection in a thali of water. They drink water to break the fast. The celebrations of Karva Chauth are culminated by feasting.