Karwa Chauth 2016: The new moon has been sighted and women in various states, from Uttarakhand to Punjab have broken their fasts. In New Delhi, the new moon was sighted at 8:47 pm and the offerings to the moon and prayers were held soon thereafter. However, moonrise timing was different in various states. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh it was 8:35 pm, in Mumbai it was 9:21 pm, in Rajasthan it was 8:56 pm, in Himachal Pradesh it was 8:43 pm, in Punjab it was 8:49 pm, in Haryana it was 8:48 pm, in Bengaluru it was 9:09 pm and in in Kolkata it was 8:11 pm.
The importance of this fest is that married women in north India especially, observe a day-long fast as a sacrifice and pray for their husbands to have a long and fruitful lives. The literal meaning of the word ‘Karva’ means earthen pot; the word ‘Chauth’ means ‘fourth day’. Wishing for peace and prosperity are also part of the rituals.
Observed well before Diwali festival, the fest generally falls in October. While the fest is meant for women alone, increasingly, men too are observing it – at least the younger lot. Also, young girls too observe the fast in order to be blessed with good husbands when they eventually get married.
As per Hindu religious traditions, married women are not supposed to eat anything from sunrise to moonrise. But there are certain times when you can eat fruit or some other food items. Generally, women get up extremely early and eat before dawn and thereafter wait for moon rise to happen to eat food. Karwa Chauth generally is observed in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik and that too on the 4th day after the full moon.