The best festivals of India: Karva Chauth, unique celebration

Best Festival of India Karva Chauth Bangles

Re-living the moments. The original article was posted in November 2020. As the Karva Chauth festival is approaching tomorrow, I want to re-live the moments with you. Enjoy Karva Chauth, one of the best festivals of India! 🙂

The best Festivals of India: Karva Chauth. Last week we started our journey to discover the best celebrations in India, The Best Festivals of India: Foreigner’s Perspective Living in India. From Diwali, through Karva Chauth to Holi. It is interesting to learn about other countries and places in the world from two perspectives, local and ex-pats ones. With so many local guides and references available, I am here to share the second perspective: of a Polish girl living in India. I celebrate not only festivals but also simple moments. Yes, I am chasing life’s moments here.

Today I want to take you on a new journey, a moon search. Let’s discover together the unique Karva Chauth festival. It is all about love, longevity, and a bit of dieting too!

KARVA CHAUTH – BOLLYWOOD WAY

Have you ever heard about Karva Chauth before? For people outside of India, it might be a bit more unknown festival. Yet, so beautiful and simple adored by me! As we are a Polish-Indian family we celebrate festivals from both countries, respecting our cultures and traditions and also showing to our daughters both worlds. For sure, Karva Chauth is one of the festivals that we all love to celebrate.

If you still think you know less or nothing about it, check these 3 very famous Bollywood movies’ songs. That’s a quick intro to the ‘love-bond’ festival! Enjoy!

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995)

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)

BEST FESTIVALS OF INDIA – KARVA CHAUTh

Karva Chauth Celebration

WHAT IS IT

Karva Chauth festival is celebrated by Hindu women from India. It takes place on the fourth day after Purnima (full moon) during the month of Kartika (approx. mid-October to mid-November). Like many other Hindu festivals, Karva Chauth is based on the lunar calendar.

On Karva Chauth, married women, especially in the north of India, fast from sunrise to moonrise for the health, safety, and longevity of their husbands.

The Karva Chauth fast is traditionally celebrated in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh, as well as in the other states, based on the individual approach.

MY KARVA CHAUTH

I simply love Karva Chauth. I do not know why but that’s one of my favorite festivals during the year. So far, I celebrated Karva Chauth twice, and both times truly enjoyed it! I think I liked it also as My Better Half joins me in fasting (even Our Bigger Angel tries to, as well) or rather – he is better than me! So let me tell you the practical side of Karva Chauth first!

Karva Chauth Traditional Dresses

KARVA CHAUTH IN PRACTICE: FASTING

Typically Karva Chauth is celebrated by women; nowadays, many men join their wives during this one-day fast.

As per tradition, fasting was done in the form of no food and no drinking on the day of Karva Chauth. It lasted till the moon’s visibility in the sky.

Nowadays, there are many versions of fasting. 1. no food & no drinking full day till moon; 2. no food full day till moon, drinking possible; 3. no food & no drinking from sunrise till moon; 4. no food & no drinking, at sunset water and food when the moon is visible.

In our case: My Better Half goes with option 1. I did twice option 2; feeding Our Little One I just can’t cut fully on the energy source; maybe next year!

KARVA CHAUTH IN PRACTICE: DURING THE DAY

  • Typical activities during the day: mehndi (henna) application for women and women gatherings
  • Women like to wear special dresses: traditional saree or lehenga choli, this year I chose anarkali kurta dress
  • Also, traditionally, women on Karva Chauth don’t do any housework (hmm, why My Better Half didn’t tell me that during Karva Chauth?! ?)

KARVA CHAUTH IN PRACTICE: IN THE EVENING

Best Festivals of India: Karva Chauth moon
  • After moonrise, the actual moon search starts!
  • There are 2 options: wait for the moon to be high enough to be visible from home or start a moon chase, usually by car! (chasing life moments in action!)
  • As you can imagine, we are chasing family so we recommend driving to a place that has an open space, it helps a lot in stopping… hunger!
  • Once the moon is visible, the woman looks first at the moon using ‘channi‘ and then at the husband; then the husband offers to wife first water and then sweets.
  • If the moon is not visible, the family waits & waits… and then breaks the fast, if needed.
  • In some families (yuppie, in our one too!) in the evening husband gives a gift to the wife.
  • The evening ends with family dinner, our Karva Chauth special is puri and vegetable curry (sabzi curry).

karva chauth: FUN STORY

Last year, when we celebrated Karva Chauth first time together, we kept on waiting and waiting for the moon at home. Our Little One, back then, was 3.5 months old. It was 21:00 and the moon was still very low in the sky. So we decided on the moon chase by car. At 21:30, four of us were already in the car, including both our girls! It took us few minutes and the moon was found! The trick was: we had water and sweets with us in the car!

This year? Lesson learned! 21:00 four of us were already in the car! A few minutes later: the moon was chased! Of course with water and sweets. My Better Half was super prepared! Got for 3 of us sets of bangles. So lovely. One small issue. First, I tried my set: too small. Then Our Bigger Angel tried her one: too small. Then we tried on Our Little One: hmm… too small too. Btw, we are still waiting for some replacements. ?

FESTIVAL’S TIP

Best Festivals of India: Karva Chauth moon search

If you happen to experience Karva Chauth in India and want to join fasting, double-check on the moonrise hour. As India is a huge country, it might vary a bit based on the location. It might also help you to decide which type of fasting you want to do on that day.

Usually, during Karva Chauth moonrise starts in India around 9 pm. People say that moon likes to be playful during the festival: hides behind clouds, it is less visible so that waiting is even longer.

It is best to refer to an online moonrise calculator. It is enough to add a location, and you will know the exact hour of the moonrise in the sky. If you want to fast outside of India, you might luckier – the moon might appear even around 6 pm.

Usually, after 10-14 days comes Diwali, the festival of light. If you missed my previous post about it, it is right here! 

EXPERIENCE KARVA CHAUTH: DATES TO SAVE

  • 2021: 24th Oct (Sun)
  • 2022: 13th Oct (Thu)
  • 2023: 1st Nov (Wed)

Want to learn more about Karva Chauth? Click here.

And remember, join me next week to read about Holi. The most known globally Indian festival, full of colors and water fights! At home or on the road, we can virtually discover India together.


Have you had a chance to celebrate any of the Indian festivals? If yes, which one is your favorite? If not yet, which one would you like to experience most? Share below! Remember, sharing is caring!

Moments that matter, no matter the moon.

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