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The festival of Karva-Chauth is celebrated 9 days before Diwali. It falls on the fourth day of the Kartik month by the Hindu calendar (19th September, 2016). Karwa Chauth is considered the most important fast observed by married women. On this day the women pray for the welfare and long lives of their husbands. The festival is celebrated mainly in the northern part of the country. The Karva Chauth Pooja process is very elaborate and meaningful.
Karwa Chauth preparations start a day in advance. Women buy items of Shringar and other items for Karvachauth such as Karwa Matthi, heena, Pooja Thalis etc. women wake up early in the morning, prepare food (Known as ‘Sargi’ ) and eat it before sunrise. They embellish their hand s and feet with henna, decorate the Pooja Thali and meet with friends.
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In the late afternoon the women gather in a temple or a park to conduct the Karwa Chauth Pooja. An elderly member of the group starts preaching the tales (Katha) of the Karvachauth. Earlier an idol of Gaur Mata was made using earth and cow dung. Now just an idol of Goddess Parwati is kept. Every one lights an earthen lamp in their Thali while listening to the Karva story. Sindoor (vermilion), incense sticks and rice are also kept in the Thali. Once the moon rises the women catch its reflection in the Thali or through a Dupatta or a sieve. They offer water to the moon and seek blessings. They pray for the long and blessed lives of their husbands. This marks the end of the day long fast. The Karvachauth Pooja process is fascinating
Karva Chauth Essentials: