Story Behind Karwachauth
Karwachauth is one of the most revered and auspicious festivals in North India. In western India and south India, a similar version known as Vad-Poornima is celebrated. It is a day where wives fast for their husbands’ longevity and pray to God to give them the same soul as their spouse for seven lifetimes. Women fast for an entire day without water. Only after the moon rises, then they worship the moon. Water is filled in an earthen pot with some sugar, wheat, and money. A swastika and thirteen tikkas or vermillion marks are made on this pot. This festival is usually celebrated by several women together. Each woman places her pot on a wooden platform. Then they all sit around and listen to the story of Karwachauth with thirteen grains of wheat held in their palms. When the moon appears at night, they worship the moon seeing it through a netted sieve and water and the wheat grains are offered to the moon. The husbands then offer water and prasad to their wives and the fast is thereby broken.
The story of Karwachauth is very old. Legend has it that there was a very rich merchant who had seven sons and one daughter. The girl was greatly adored by her brothers and they would do anything for her. In due time, all the children got married. The girl returned to her maternal home for her first karwachauth and she was fasting. The sky was cloudy that night and the moon was nowhere to be seen. The brothers could not bear to see their sister sit in hunger, looking weak and tired while they ate their dinner. Hence they light a fire behind the mansion in such a way that an illusion of the moon was created. The girl although knowing that it is not the real moon, chose to believe them and broke her fast and ate her dinner. Soon after, she received news from her in-laws that her husband had passed away. The girl was devastated and wailed while begging to God for forgiveness. A devdasi named Indrani advised the girl to fast and worship the moon on every Chauth thereafter till the following Karvachauth. The girl did so and sure enough, her husband was returned to her alive and well by the Chauth Goddess. Women fast for their husbands to have a long life and their love grows with every passing day.