Karwa Chauth 2022: How The Festival Is Celebrated Across India

While the gist remains the same, Karwa Chauth is celebrated with a few tweaks across India. Read on

As Dussehra ends, Indian women start preparing for Karwa Chauth, which will be observed on October 13 this year. Most Hindu women in Northern and Western India celebrate the festival where they fast for an entire day for the longevity, safety, and prosperity of their husbands. Nowadays, many men also fast for the longevity of their wives. Actor Ayushmann Khuarrana did it when Tahira Kashyap was battling breast cancer. 

The date of the festival is decided based on the lunisolar calendar, which is of great importance among Hindus who use it to calculate astronomical positions and dates of auspicious occasions. 

Celebrated across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, among others, there is a slight difference in how it is celebrated across states of India.

Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, & Himachal Pradesh

In Punjab, a night before Karwa Chauth, the mothers of the married women send her Bayaa, which comprises coconut, clothes, sindoor (vermillion), fruits and sweets. Before sunrise, the woman has to eat Sargi or the food that is prepared by her mother-in-law.

While breaking the fast, the woman is supposed to look at the moon through a sieve (channi). Then her husband feeds her sweets and lassi. The traditional dinner dishes include green pulses, red beans, rice, pooris, and sweets.

Among many households of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, even unmarried women observe Karwa Chauth. They do it to please Lord Shiva, who, according to some legends, manifests himself as the moon. Instead of looking at the moon, young girls break their fast by looking at the North Star.

Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, & Uttar Pradesh

The overall ethos of the festival remains the same, however one can see a difference in the food eaten on the day. Here Sargi consists of vermicelli made with sweet milk, dry fruits, and sweets. 

Just as you have seen on TV serials and films, the married women in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Delhi apply mehndi on their hands. They receive traditional gifts, including anklets, vermillion, alta (red paint), toe rings, and other things that are markers of a woman’s marital status.

Women also gather in a group and exchange karwas (earthen pots) seven times amongst themselves. In Rajasthan, older women in the families tell legends about the festival to the younger generation celebrating it. 

In Jammu, women add wheat grains to their karwas. While offering water to the moon, they also pray for a great rabi season (winter crops). Before the moonrise, women dress like new brides and gather in groups to exchange stories and the significance of the festival. 

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