The festival of Karwa Chauth, also known as Karak Chaturthi, is round the corner. Married Hindu women observe the Nirjala fast on this day. They pray for the prosperity, safety, and long life of their husbands. Drik Panchang states that Karwa or Karak refers to the earthen vessel through which water is offered to the Moon, known as Argha.
Apart from married women, some unmarried men and women also observe the Karwa Chauth fast for their partners. However, pregnant women are advised to skip the fast as their body goes through many challenges during this time and they may face health problems due to not taking water and food throughout the day.
According to Drik Panchang, Karwa Chauth falls on Krishna Paksha Chaturthi of Kartik month. This year it will be celebrated on November 1st. If you are observing fast this year, then you should follow the rituals properly. Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help you avoid mistakes and celebrate the occasion properly.
1. Married women should apply mehendi and do solah shringar while dressing up to participate in the Karva Chauth puja and katha ritual. One should apply mehendi a day before the festival and wear traditional clothes (preferably red), mangal sutra, nose pin, bindi, bangles, earrings, and more – it symbolizes good luck, prosperity, and happy married life.
2. Sargi is a special plate containing various food items and gifts given to married women by their mother-in-law. One should not skip sargi as it is an important ritual of Karak Chaturthi. The food items present in the sargi thali should be eaten exactly like the food eaten before starting the fast. Generally, the plate is made in such a way that it can provide all the essential nutrients and energy. This includes feni, sweet vermicelli, fruits, coconut, sweet mathri, dry fruits, sweets, paratha, and juice.
3. While red is considered an auspicious color during Karwa Chauth, married women should avoid black or white colors in their clothes. Other colors that one can wear on this special occasion are yellow, green, pink, and orange.
4. Baya is a special Karwa Chauth gift that daughters-in-law send to their mother-in-laws. This includes clothes, jewelry, food utensils, and other things. While offering Baya, do not forget to take the blessings of your mother-in-law.
5. Married women should participate in Karwa Chauth puja and listen to the katha in the evening before breaking the fast. Without following this ritual, the Nirjala fast is considered incomplete.
6. Married women and their family members should avoid eating non-vegetarian dishes on the day of Karwa Chauth as these are considered to be Tamasic in nature.
7. Avoid breaking the fast with fried food as it can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, gastric irritability, or bloating. Additionally, as per the ritual, one should end one’s fast by drinking a few drops of water. Then, you can consume coconut water, dry fruits, healthy snacks, or low-fat dishes.
8. According to Hindu traditions, women are advised not to use scissors, needles, or knives while celebrating Karva Chauth.