Today is Karwa Chauth. This festival is celebrated in most parts of the country.Through out Punjab, U.P.,Rajasthan, Bihar,Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir it is celebrated with great enthusiasm .This festival falls on the tenth day after Dusshera and ten days before Diwali. Women observe fast for the longevity of their husbands.The preparations start several days before the festival. Colorful dresses, bangles, cosmetics are purchased. Decorative mehendi applied. It is almost like a bridal preparation.. Early morning before sunrise, women take a meal, The spread is known as Sargi, consisting of many sweets, fruits, coconut, and feni( a sort of sevian, which is a must ).All these goodies are sent by the mother of the lady.The rest of the day ladies are not supposed drink even water. Before sunset, dressed as brides, the ladies assemble in their best attire, in a temple or some one house.They exchange plates full of eatables . The plates are passed on in rotation seven times.While plates are circulated the ladies sing a song associated with Karwa Chauth. Then the temple priest or an elderly lady narrates the story of the origin of the festival. In our house, some ladies assemble and I take the role of the story teller. I have observed that many ladies , specially youngsters, either dont know the story or dont even listen to it.They consider it as a part of the ritual.I am writing this folk tale in brief, particularly for newly married girls..
There was a girl ,named Veera,who was the only sister of six brothers. After her marriage on the first Karwa Chauth, she went to her parents house. At dusk time she felt thirsty. Her brothers could not see her unhappy. They burnt some trees and told the sister that moon was visible. She took water and the news came that her husband 's body was full of pinpricks. and he died. She ran towards her in laws house, when she heard a voice that she was not at fault.She was directed go home and sprinkle holy water on him.She got the blessings of the goddess.
In the evening,when the moon rises,women light a diya and see the moon through a sieve and pray for the husband's welfare. The husband gives the first sip of water,after the fast to his spouse. Of late Bollywood movies show the glamour and festivities connected with festival. So the people have started celebrating with great pomp and show Now a days many husbands have started fasting to give company to their beloved wives and give them gifts.Given below are some pictures of the festivities and rituals observed on Karwa Chauth. (pics courtesy google )