Karwa Chauth Festival and Gifts

The Karwa Chauth, undoubtedly, is one of the toughest ceremonies followed with rigour of fasting. On this day Hindu and Sikh women refrain from taking food from the dawn break till the moon rises in late evening. But even among the rigidity of rituals happiness flows with the flurry of gifts.

The auspicious day of Karwa Chauth falls in the harvest season of the Kharif crop and the start of Rabi crop sowing season. Hence a feel of joy already remain in the air and community festivity mood is in full swing and gift exchange is practiced. In the rural areas, people start celebrations early and Karwa Chauth on the fourth day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartick, just nine day before the Diwali, is revered as a very sacred day solemnised by devoted wife of all Hindus as well as Sikhs.

Karwa Chauth Gifts

The fasting brides are shrouded with gifts. The mother-in-law’s gift of Sargi thali starts the day. This comprises of sumptuous meal of homemade sweets and cookies, jalebis etc. along with milk, fruits, almonds and jewelleries, new dresses as well as cash. The brides have the food much before day break after taking a bath. She keeps her fast for the rest of the day; some even not drinking water. In the days before Karwa Chauth, married women get gifts of cosmetics or shringar, traditional adornments, henna mehendi, new cookingwares etc. All through the day of Karwa Chauth either people visit the fasting bride or the woman herself pay visit to local friends or relatives. In either case she receives gifts, bangles and sweets, some pieces of jewelleries, new dresses etc. Indians living out of India sends gifts to India to their wives back home in India on Karwa Chauth. A special gift thali, called Baya comes from the home of the bride sent by the bride’s mother. This again comprises of dresses or any piece of clothing, at least a handkerchief, cosmetics, homemade sweets and poua, bangles, vermilions and at least one utensil. The whole day the fasting woman is relieved from any household works and cooking etc. which is a gift too in its own credit. In the evening when ladies meet at some religious song performance function, they exchange gifts again. They bring with them their baya in beautifully designed pots. Sitting around in circle they perform a ritual of passing these bayas while telling old folklores on Karwa Chauth and singing special religious songs of the occasion. This goes on till the news of moon rise comes. The ladies then come out in the open to have a look at the moon. The moon is indirectly looked on, just like a new bride takes a look on her groom – the image of the moon in water of a vessel is watched, or through a sieve or a piece cloth put before eyes, the woman looks at the moon. She then offers food from her thali to the moon sixteen times. After that she looks the same way to her husband and offers him food. This brings good luck for the husband as the woman’s eyesight then is believed has gained spiritual power from the rigour and devotion of day long fasting. The husband in return too offers her food the woman breaks her fasting. She is then gifted expensive jewelleries and dresses by the husband and showered with love and respect.

 

Sreejata Published: Nov 18, 2010 | Last Updated: Sep 03, 2022
Chat