Karwa Chauth is a fast undertaken by married Hindu women who offer prayers seeking the welfare, prosperity, well-being, and longevity of their husbands. A married woman who observes this vrat is called ‘Saubhagyavati’ (joyous and happy state of wifehood).
The festival of Karva Chauth was emerged as a day to celebrate the season of autumn and enjoy the company of friends and relatives. But later on, many mythological legends were added to give it a religious touch. This festival is glorified and widely solemnized by the Hindus and Sikh of north-western India. As the name signifies, Karva meaning a clay pot and chauth corresponding to the fourth, this festival is commemorated on the the fourth day after the Full Moon in Kartik month of Hindu calendar. Season-wise, soon after the harvest, it is an excellent time to enjoy festivities, meet one another and exchange gifts. During the time of Karva Chauth, parents send gifts to married daughters and their children.
The festival of Karva Chauth has an extraordinary observance rate among married Hindu women in Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The various way of celebrating Karva Chauth vary from each other on regional basis. New clothes, new jewelery and gifts from both mother and mother-in-law are received. The wedding day outfits are worn once again, mehndi is applied and the family gathers to celebrate it with them.
There are many similar stories associated with this festival in different parts of India. In this fast, various items including a karwa, an earthen pot with a spout, are collected and worship is offered to Siva and Parvati. In principle, the fast is not to be broken until the moon is sighted at night, and an elderly woman in the house is supposed to narrate the story of Karwa Chauth before the fast is terminated.