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On Karva Chauth day, tens of millions of women keep a fast, taking neither food nor water, for the well being and long life of their husbands. The fast of Karwa Chawth truly sets the merry tone of the fun and frolic, festivity and feasting that come in good measure during Diwali – the biggest festival of the Hindus. Even the ‘hip-hop’ generation now celebrates the ‘My Family’ spirit, with Karva Chauth having become a cool fad among teenagers. For some of these youngsters it’s a trend, for others it’s pure devotion, and there are still others for whom it’s just fun giving company to her mother who observes the fast.

Tradition /Preparations:

Karwa means clay pot and chauth means fourth night after the full moon. It has great social and cultural significance and is mostly practiced in Northern India where wives start their fast at night just after the appearance of the moon, within sight of their husbands. They then wait until the next night’s moonrise to begin the fast breaking ceremonies, without consuming any food or drink.

A few days before Karva Chauth, married women would buy new karvas (spherical clay pots) — 7″-9″ in diameter and 2-3 litres capacity — and paint them on the outside with beautiful designs. Inside they would put bangles and ribbons, home-made candy and sweets, make-up items, and small clothes. The women would then visit each other on the day of Karva Chauth and exchange these karvas.

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