Karwa Chauth 2024: Date, Significance, and Rituals


Karwa Chauth is a significant Hindu festival celebrated by married women across northern and western India. This traditional festival holds great importance as it is observed by married women for the well-being and longevity of their husbands. The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik. In 2024, Karwa Chauth will be celebrated on Friday, 8th November.

Significance of Karwa Chauth:

Karwa Chauth is a day-long festival marked by fasting, prayers, and rituals that symbolize the deep bond between a husband and wife. Married women observe a day-long fast from sunrise to moonrise, abstaining from food and water as a demonstration of their love, devotion, and willingness to make sacrifices for their husbands. The fast is broken only after sighting the moon, usually with the husband offering the first morsel of food and water to his wife.

The word “Karwa” refers to an earthen pot used during the Karwa Chauth rituals, while “Chauth” means the fourth day, signifying the festival’s observance on the fourth day after the full moon. The festival reinforces the idea of marital bliss, prosperity, and longevity of the spouse, and it is believed that a woman’s sincere prayers on Karwa Chauth can bring health, happiness, and prosperity to her husband.

Rituals of Karwa Chauth:

Karwa Chauth is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm, with women preparing for the festival days in advance. Some of the key rituals associated with Karwa Chauth include:

1. Sargi: Married women wake up early before dawn to consume a meal known as “Sargi” sent by their mothers-in-law. This pre-dawn meal typically includes delicious dishes like sweets, fruits, and nuts, providing the necessary energy for the day-long fast.

2. Fasting: Women observe a strict fast from sunrise until moonrise, refraining from consuming food and water throughout the day. The fast is broken only after seeing the moon at night, with the husband traditionally offering water and food to his wife to break her fast.

3. Puja: Women dress up in their finest traditional attire, adorn themselves with jewelry and henna, and gather with other married women in the evening for the Karwa Chauth puja. The puja involves offering prayers to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, seeking their blessings for a long and prosperous married life.

4. Moon Sighting: One of the most awaited moments of Karwa Chauth is the sighting of the moon. Women eagerly look towards the sky to catch a glimpse of the moon, following which they perform certain rituals before breaking their fast.

5. Breaking the Fast: Upon sighting the moon, women break their fast by first looking at the moon through a sieve or cloth, offering water to the moon, and then turning towards their husbands to see their faces indirectly through the same sieve before consuming water and food.

6. Exchange of Gifts: As a token of love and appreciation, husbands often present their wives with gifts and express their gratitude for their dedication and prayers on Karwa Chauth.

FAQs about Karwa Chauth:

Q1. Can unmarried women observe Karwa Chauth?
A1. While Karwa Chauth is traditionally meant for married women, some unmarried women also observe the fast to pray for a suitable life partner or to experience the rituals and customs of the festival.

Q2. Can pregnant or breastfeeding women observe Karwa Chauth fast?
A2. It is advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consult their healthcare providers before observing a day-long fast like Karwa Chauth. They can choose to modify the fast by consuming light and nutritious foods at regular intervals.

Q3. What is the significance of applying mehndi (henna) on Karwa Chauth?
A3. Applying mehndi on hands and feet is considered auspicious on Karwa Chauth as it symbolizes love, prosperity, and the bond between husband and wife. The intricate designs of mehndi also add beauty and elegance to the festive celebrations.

Q4. Are there any specific dishes that are traditionally prepared for Karwa Chauth?
A4. While the Sargi meal is an essential part of Karwa Chauth, some popular dishes prepared for the pre-dawn meal include fenia (sweet vermicelli), mathri (savory snack), and fruits. Families often prepare luxurious feasts for the evening meal after breaking the fast, including sweets and savory dishes.

Q5. What is the historical significance of Karwa Chauth?
A5. The origins of Karwa Chauth date back to ancient times, with stories and legends passed down through generations. One popular tale is the story of Queen Veeravati, whose devotion and determination in observing Karwa Chauth led to the revival of her husband’s life after facing death.

Karwa Chauth is not only a festival but a celebration of love, trust, and commitment between married couples. It brings families together, strengthens relationships, and upholds the sacred bond of marriage. The traditions and rituals associated with Karwa Chauth resonate with the cultural ethos of India, embodying the timeless values of sacrifice, devotion, and marital bliss.



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