Celebrating Karwachauth as a Feminist

fem·i·nist | One that supports political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

kar·wa·chau·th | A festival a married woman chooses to observe for her husband.

Karwachauth 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. The day is spent in adorning yourself like a bride, from clothing, jewelry to applying mehndi. Housework is restricted to ensure nothing comes in the way of your dedication for the day.

Celebrating Karwachauth as a Feminist

Traditionally mother in laws, sister in laws & daughter in laws get together for the pre-sunrise early morning meals and evening prayers. In essence, it’s a celebration of the wife and the power of her promise to always pray and protect her husband.

Every Karwachauth there is a social face off, with some calling the festival sexist or dated which is why I’m sharing my thoughts on why I believe the contrary and why I hold this festival very dear to my heart. While some people argue that this festival is anti-feminist, I beg to differ. I think this festival shows the {Shakti} a woman has. That her love and dedication alone can alter her husbands well being. Yes that’s the power of a wife, the power of “she”.

Celebrating Karwachauth as a Feminist

Religiously speaking
This festival was observed by Gauri Ma (Parvati Ma), Shakti herself for Bholenaath (Lord Shiva). As a couple they represent the male and female power within us, that we are nothing without the other and the balance of he and she. 

Culturally speaking
We celebrate our weddings larger than life but when do we get to celebrate the bond, sacrifices and promises between husband and wife? This festival gives us the chance to feel like newly weds all over again with the dressing up, prayers made and romantic vibes in the air. Forget Bollywood dreams, our culture is goals. 

Socially speaking
Karwachauth is a celebration of sisterhood. Women are encouraged to spend the day with their mothers, sisters, girlfriends celebrating this day. In fact, more than your husband, you celebrate this festival with other women. And if the issue is of “starving yourself”, if we can fall into “intermittent fasting” fads in the name of diets, we can keep this fast in the name of faith.

Celebrating Karwachauth as a Feminist

So this year if you know a woman keeping Karwachauth and you don’t believe in it (whether in principle or faith) please be kind. I’ve seen so many judging remarks in prior years. Celebrating Karwachauth doesn’t make anyone any less of a feminist, it’s a choice we make to believe in ourselves and our faith.

Looking for more Karwachauth posts? Check out this post on celebrating the day of and thali essentials .

3 thoughts on “Celebrating Karwachauth as a Feminist

  1. Very honest and forthright narration. The subject has been handled with due seriousness shorn of any frivolity which sadly, has become the order of the day; ironically at the hands of so called educated and progressive Hindus..
    It is all a matter of religious customs, beliefs and traditions, observing or not observing is a matter of choice but calling it regressive and mocking those observing is really boorish to say the least.
    Salutations to the writer.

  2. Wow. I left a comment on this a long time ago, but did not expect the admins would remove comments not in alignment with their views. Since the blog owner had made it clear that anybody with views that don’t match their own are not welcome, it has only raised questions about just how many folks they have alienated.

    1. I am happy to have a dialogue however I will not be approving comments with name calling — please make better use of your time.

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