Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Karva Chauth

We're still in holiday season!! Last night was Karva Chauth or women's holiday. It usually takes place about 9 days before Diwali (the BIG holiday). With this holiday, married Hindu women will fast, seeking the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands. The term 'Chauth' means the 'fourth day' and 'Karwa' is an earthen pot with a spout - a symbol of peace and prosperity - that is a part of the rituals.

Every part of the country celebrates in a different way, but in our area of the country, it is celebrated this way: During the day (beginning before sunrise around 4 am), the married women will keep a strict fast. The woman won't even drink a drop of water until the day is over. Women like this holiday because it is the one day that they really get pampered by their husbands. Their husband will buy them new clothes, jewlery, makeup, and get henna put on their hands and sometimes feet. Before the woman gets dressed up in her new Saree, her husband will paint red dye on her feet. This shows that she is married (see below).

After this, the woman will begin to get ready. She will put on her new makeup, jewlery and saree. Then the puja time begins.

The family will gather around the idol shelf and tell the story of their gods: Shiva, Parvati and their son Kartikeya. They will then give offerings to all of the gods (who all have new clothes). They will give them pooris, sweets, water and rice.
Then they all will go up to the roof (once the moon has risen) to continue the puja. The woman will then continue the w'ship time by offering h0ly water to the moon and w'shipping the moon.

The woman ends the puja by looking through a strainer-type dish at her husband and the moon at the same time (as seen below).

The night is finished with the woman prying to the moon.

After all of that is finished and after water is offered to the moon, then the woman can drink water again and the fast is broken. At this point, the woman and her friends that are there, eat together.

Here is a picture of me and Mona:

Here is a pic of Adam and Mr. Kumar:

Here is a picture of the Kumar family (our landlords and the family that we live with).

1 COmMeNTs FrOm PeOpLe wHo ROCK!:

Anonymous said...

That's a great post! In fact, I think I am going to link you on my blog. I really wanted to blog about this holiday, but didn't have any good pics.