INDIA FESTIVAL KARVA CHAUTH
Rituals Of Karva Chauth
The women of the neighborhood usually gather in someone’s house and perform the puja together. A small area is prepared for the ceremony that can be performed in any part of the house as well as in the open. An idol of Gaur Mata or Goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva (the Destroyer in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) is placed on the consecrated spot. Traditionally, the tiny image of Gaur Mata was made from cow dung, though nowadays pictures or idols of Parvati are the norm.
Before moonrise, the women place their bayas over their karvas in a plate and assemble around the puja area to offer prayer while an elderly lady narrates a tale about the relevance of fetival. After the story is read out to everyone, the women exchange their respective karvas till each one gets her own karva back, while chanting the following:
Addey-addey Krishna pakshe var
Tith Karva Chauth
Manse hain apne suhag ke liye
Yeh karva, mattri, halwa, sari, nagdi
Apne suhag ka liye rani ka sa raj dena
Gaur ka sa suhag dena Shri Krishna nimant.
The puja ends with the women showering rice and vermilion on Parvati and seeking her blessings. The younger women touch the feet of the elders, seek their blessings and offer their baya to them. Following this the offerings are prepared, a kalash (small container) is filled with either milk or water. In that kalash is placed Pancha Ratna (five pieces of different metals gold, silver, copper, brass and iron). The kalash is then presented to a Brahmin and also exchanged with other married women. While thus presenting the kalash, a wishful prayer is offered to Lord Ganesh:
"Let the offerings of this Karva (Karak (gift bring long life to my husband and may my saubhagya be everlasting". And express such desire that ‘May my death precede that of my husband so that I can enter the chitaa (funeral pyre) as a bride (not as a widow).
One of the women goes with a plate decorated with lit earthen lamps and a container of water to see if the moon has risen. The moon is not to be seen directly but through a sieve. Water is offered to the moon seven times by each of the fasting women as they all recite some verses. Women break their fast after seeing the moon.
If the husband is present, then worship him with Panchopchar or gandh, pushpa, dhoop, deep and naivedya (perfume, flower, incence, lamp and food). If the husband is away on travels, then offer a prayer to Almighy to grant long life to your husband. Thereafter bring the vrat to its conclusion.
The materials required to comemorate this occassion can be summed up below:-
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