Karwa Chauth is observed by married ladies on the fourth day of the dark half of kartik
(October-November) in order to ensure prosperity. sound health and longevity of their
husband. Widows and unmarried girls do not practice it.
The married women keep a strict
fast and do not take even a drop of water. They get up early in the morning, perform
their ablutions and wear new and festive raiments. Shiva, Parvati and son Karttikeya
are worshipped on this day along with ten Karwas (the small earthern pots with spouts)
filled with sweets.
These are given to the daughters and sisters along with gifts.
At night when the moon appears, the women break their fast after offering water to the
moon. The women tell among themselves the story of Chauth on this day.
a Brahmin priest tells this story and gets gift in return. The married women receive
costly gifts from their husbands, brothers and parents on this occasion. They touch
the feet of their mother-in-law and other elderly ladies of the family and seek their
There are many interesting stories related to the celebration of Karwa Chauth.
A legend says that once on this day a young married woman observed this fast at her
parent's house. She was very beautiful and tender. The austerity of the strict fast
made her almost lifeless. So, her brothers caused a fire on the nearby hill and told
her that the moon has risen. The fire gave out the glow of the moon and no sooner did
she break her fast on seeing the false moon, than she received the evil news of her
husband's death at a distant place.
She immediately set out for her husband's house.
On the way Shiva-Parvati met her and explained to her that the cause of her tragedy
was the immature termination of the fast. Parvati gave her some blood from her little
finger and asked the lady to sprinkle it on her dead husband. Parvati also advised her
to observe complete and strict Chauth fast in future. On reaching home, the lady
sprinkled the holy blood over her husband's dead body and he was at once revived. Ever
since then, she observed Chauth fast in strict conformity and led a happy prosperous
and healthy, life with her: husband and children.