Karva stands for “pot” and chauth stands for “fourth”. karva is believed to symbolise the large earthen pots used to store wheat and the date marks the date of the beginning of the festival. It is the fourth day of the month of Kartik.
Karva Chauth is the festival where Hindu married Women Fasts seeking for their husband’s longevity and safety.
Women who are not married but wish to have a good husband also takes part in this one day fast.
If theories are to be believed, it started off by women whose husbands had to leave for long wars against Mughal invaders in the north-west of India. While they were away, women used to pray for their safe return. They used to wait for them by preparing special meals for their husband and dress in their finest outfit.
Another legend says that it began as a prayer wishing for a good harvest, as the day of the fast coincides with the day wheat should start being sown.
It is majorly celebrated in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from fasting and dressing up the best, women exchange clay pots/decorated plates with their friends that they paint and decorate with beautiful designs. These plates are filled with sweets, makeup, bangles etc. Women have a pre-dawn meal, which is offered by Mother in Laws. Women taking part in Karva Chauth are usually not allowed to do any household chores.
Karva Chauth is being celebrated on Wednesday, October 19, which is the fourth day of Hindu month of Kartik .