Karwa Chauth is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Hindus in India. Typically, a festival of north and north western India, Karwa Chauth falls on nine days prior to Diwali, to be precise, on Kartik ki Chauth. Married women observe fast all through the day after eating the traditional meal 'sargi' early in the morning, before sunrise. The morning is spent by activities such as applying henna in hands and dressing up for the festival. In the evening, a group of brightly dressed married women gathers in a house or the nearby temple to conduct Karwa Chauth puja. At that time, they chant mantras, read Karwa Chauth katha (story) and sing songs that have been specifically composed for the festival. In the article, you will know all about Karva Chauth pooja.
Karva Chauth Pooja
During Karva Chauth pooja, the married women sit in a circle. At the center of, they place the two-inch tall idol of Goddess Gauri made by using fresh cow dung. A karva (holy pitcher) is placed beside the idol, on a raised platform. Then, the women apply tilak on the idol of Gauri Ma to seek her blessings and pray for a long, blissful and prospered married life. Thereafter, an elderly woman of the group narrates the Karva Chauth katha (story), a legend associated with the celebration of the festival. After the story is over, other women rotate a puja thali occasionally, reciting the Karwa Chauth song. After the pooja is over, women return to their respective homes.
The married woman would wait for the moon to rise in the evening. They would go to the place, with their individual puja thalis, where moon is clearly visible. Once the moon rises, they would see the moon through the sieve, offer prasad (dry fruits such as almonds and cashew nuts) or snacks such as mathi to the moon, and then see their husband through the same sieve. Thereafter, they would break their fast by drinking the water that they have kept in their thali.
Pooja Items & Pooja Thali
The items that are required for Karwa Chauth puja include idol of Goddess Gauri, Karwa (pitcher) filled with water, a diya (earthen lamp), flowers a handful of fruits and food grains. A part of fruits and food grains are offered to the deity, while the other half is served to the story teller. The puja thali (made of brass or stainless steel) would consist of incense sticks, kumkum (vermilion), chawal (rice), lota (a container filled with water) and an earthen lamp. The individual pooja thalis of the married woman is arranged in a special way, when it is the time to break the fast. During moonrise, women hold their puja thali, containing a lota (filled with water), an earthen lamp, a beautifully decorated sieve (chalni), dhoop, camphor, vermilion, rice, sandalwood powder and a fancy tissue veil to cover the thali.