Celebrating Karva Chauth

celebrating karvachauth

Karva Chauth is almost here and I can’t wait! Karva Chauth is a North Indian festival celebrated around the world in which married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the health and long lives of their husbands. You’re probably thinking what could be so exciting about fasting? But that’s just it, the day is spent in adorning yourself like a bride, the full deal from clothing, jewelry to applying mendhi (henna). In addition, housework is restricted and you are so busy in preparations for the chaand puja (moon prayer) that you hardly notice the fasting. Traditionally mother in laws prepare saargi, the pre-sunrise early morning meals for their daughter in laws and fast together. In essence, it’s a celebration of the wife and her promise to always pray and protect her husband.

karvachauth mendhi

Second to Diwali this is the festival I look forward to most. When I was a little girl I would ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaahhh’ as my mom adorned herself the day of. She would take out her crimson color sari, adjust her kamar baand, select something from her jewelry collection and apply sindoor (a red powder, the symbol of a married woman) on her forehead. I would shriek out of excitement of how beautiful she looked. All I could do was hope that I too had the glow of love and femininity like her when it was time for me to celebrate.

My first Karva Chauth as a married woman!
My first Karva Chauth as a married woman!

When it was time for me to celebrate my first married Karva Chauth a few years ago, my mom made sure everything was as beautiful and romantic as I imagined it. She had a mendhi artist come the night before to adorn our hands and feet. A few days leading up to the festival we decorated our plates and accessories needed for the prayer. In the wee early hours of the morning after showering, we sat together in prayer which was immediately followed by a meal of paranthas and jalebis dunked in milk. That evening I took out my wedding trousseau to wear, it felt just as magical as it did the first time. Everything was perfect, even better than I had imagined.

Karva Chauth through out the years
Karva Chauth through out the years

The romance, colors, significance and traditions have me counting down as the festival approaches each year. Last year a group of girlfriends and I had a mendhi celebration the day before – to get us in the spirit and start the adorning early! We played bollywood songs and enjoyed our us time as our husbands watched our little ones. I love celebrating traditional holidays even more now that Little Mirchi is growing up. I hope that she too will be as enthused as I was watching my mom celebrate.

Wishing all the beautiful ladies celebrating a Happy Karva Chauth!

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