Karwa Chauth puja Procedure
The Karwa Chauth festival of married women in India is celebrated nine days before Diwali festival which falls on the fourth day of the Kartik month. Married women keep fast throughout the day without having any food or a drop of water till moon rises and is visible.
The Karwa Chauth is celebrated in different way in different communities of North India. On this day women pray for the welfare and long life of their husbands.
In some of the regions, married women start up their day by consuming food called ‘Sargi’ given by their mother-in-law to eat before sunrise. They receive a basket called ‘Baya’ which contains sweets, fruits and a red saree meant for mother-in-laws in the evening.
Karwa Chauth Puja Items:
Cow-dung or mud
Karwa Chauth story book
Matthi for bho
A strand of red thread (called kalawa)
Karwa (earthen pot)
Money for chadawa
Karwa chauth celebrations starts few days before the festival while married women buy new karvas, earthen pots, will paint the pot from outside with beautiful designs. Inside the pot, they put bangles and ribbons, home-made candy and sweets, make-up items and a handkerchief then they visit each other on the day of Karva Chauth and exchange these karvas.
Karwa Chauth Puja Process
Women starts the karwa chauth puja preparations the day before, by buying all the items required for karwa chauth puja. Next day they wake up early in the morning and prepare food and eat it before sunrise.
After sun rises in the morning they participate in other festive activities like applying mehendi (henna) on hands and feet with beautiful designs. Then decorate the puja thali and goes to meet friends and relatives.
And in the evening, women gets dressed up with heavy bright colour saris in red , pink or other bridal colors, and bejewel themselves with all the ornaments with all other symbols of a married women like, nose pin, tika, bindi, chonp, bangles, earrings etc.
And gather at a common place at a temple or someone’s house who has arranged the puja and Karva with some water is placed in the center then listen to the Karwa Chauth story narrated by an elderly lady or the pujarin.
The Karwa Chauth story narrates the essentials of women gathering and listening of the Karwa chauth story, a special mud pot, that is considered a symbol of lord Ganesha, a metal urn filled with water, flowers, idols of Ambika Gaur Mata, Goddess Parwati and some fruits, mathi and food grains. A part of this is offered to the deities and the storyteller.
In ancient days women used to make an idol of Gauri Mata using mud or cowdung, but now just an idol of Goddess Parwati is kept then every women lights an earthen lamp in their thalis while listening to the Karwa story. Sindoor, incense sticks and rice are also kept in the thali and circulate their decorated puja thalis. And after the puja, this thali is given to the eldest member of the family who blesses the woman with all the happiness in life.
Once the moon rises, women goes on to the terrace or the open courtyard, they see the reflection of moon through a sieve and worship the moon, then she turns to view her husband’s face through the pores of a strainer, praying for his long life and they broke their fast.
Thus, how Karwa Chauth puja is done by all married women.