Karva Chauth is celebrated by women in North and North-Western India. Married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and long lives of their husbands. Karva means an earthen pot and Chauth in hindi translates to fourth as the festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartik. Even as married women fast for the men they are hitched to, unmarried women commonly observe the fast for their fiancés or for the men they are to meet in future.
The women pray and observe a day of socialising with other women dressing up in their finest regalia, prepare special meals and perform a special prayer in the evening with called Kark Chaturthi pooja where they exchange their karva with the other women.
After a whole day of fasting, the moonrise is waited upon, by the whole family as emotional support to the fasting women in the family. It is ritual for the fasting women to look at the moon first through a sieve or a muslin cloth while holding water in her hands and then turn to her husband and look at him the same way.
The husband now takes the water from her gives his wife her first sip of water and then feeds her with the first morsel of the day. This is how the fast sees its end.
It is difficult to explain the happiness that one can see in these images here. More than the mehndi, it is the big smiles on everyone’s faces that makes them look beautiful.
Following are images from Purani mandi, Parade, Patel bazaar in the city area.