Karwa Chauth 2017: Puja, rituals, process and fast

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The festival of Karwa Chauth where women observe a day-long fast for the long life of their respective husbands is revered across the nation. By evening, Veeravati was weak and fainted. She began a strict fast from sunrise, but desperately waited for the moon to come out. Being the only girl in the family, her 7 brothers and family adore her.

Just as they were sent to a new, unusual place-having a confidante or a friend to keep oneself at peace was necessary, so it is said that a tradition started where young brides would befriend a female after reaching her in-laws' place. According to the legend, Draupadi was the reminded by Lord Krishna that Goddess Parvati once was in similar situation when she had to sought Lord Shiva's guidance for which she had been advised to observe the fast of Karva Chauth. Veervati mistook it for the moon and broke the fast and the moment she took the first morsel in her mouth, she got a message from her servants that her husband was dead.

One epic story which is believed to have originated this festival is the story of woman named Karva, who was truly devoted to her husband.

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Veeravati observed a strict fast and she went to the market to buy karwa for the puja. Seeing her thirsty and hunger stricken, her brothers couldn't bear it any longer and created a mirror in a pipal tree that made it look like the moon had risen. But when Yama refused she threatened him to curse and destroy him. The king obliged and the queen sang, "Roli ki Goli Ho Gayi, Goli Ki Roli Ho Gayi (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen)".

Another fearless story that had set an example of a wife's love and devotion to her husband is the story of Satyavan and Savitri. After this meal, they don't consume any food or water till moonrise. These puja rituals are generally performed in groups by women.

Married women performing rituals on the occasion of Karva Chauth in Patna on Sunday. The online matrimonial site also has an annual campaign during Karwa Chauth urging men to fast along with their wives (#Fastforher) to express their love and show equality in marriage.

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