Karwachauth is a day-long festival celebrated in India in the month of October. It’s an important festival dedicated by wives for the long life of their husband.
In this festival like any other festival, the ritual is defined. It involves fasting by the wives with no food and no water the entire day. The fast is broken when the moon is visible.
Bollywood has made this festival famous and questionable both. Questionable because people question the reason why a woman should fast for man and attach it with feminine freedom. Positive because of most of the woman dream of a good life partner and look forward to celebrating a day dedicated to the same. Here we discuss various aspects attached to this festival and the questions.
The logic behind the celebration
Do we need a festival dedicated to the husband?
I practice all festival ritual religion by attaching them with gratitude. I follow life full of gratitude and like any other relationship I have with my parent’s sister brother uncle aunt work colleague etc my relationship with my husband is also very important to me. So I feel thankful we have a festival dedicated to this important relationship. Especially in today’s environment where marriage in itself has become debatable. People are not sure if they should get married or not? As Osho said love is ever changing energy people question the feeling of marriage. But when you meet the right person and get married it is a good idea to celebrate the day. So the logic is to celebrate love and feel the gratitude for the relationship and pray for the long life of your partner.
Is dress code necessary?
It requires you to have a Mehandi tattoo and dress up in Red attire which symbolizes the married look. How nice are the shades of red dress code and why not? If on Halloween we dress up and in Christmas we adorn red why not on Karwachauth?
Is fasting justified?
Fasting is a debatable issue again. Should woman fast or do the liquid diet on Karwachauth? Today’s fasting is more accommodating. I have the hugest respect for the woman who fasts and also who do not fast but they both have a way of showing their love through this festival.
Fasting is not the only ritual it is a form of mindfulness. I am exploring the avenue of meditation. We talk about healthy eating or fasting to cleanse the system for fasting is also a form of self-love. Fasting makes me more grateful for the food I eat. As my cook made puri and I smelled it while I fasted I had to tell my mind don’t wander and focus so this is also a form of meditation.
Recently a friend of mine had to go through a small hospital admission and doctors said you need to come empty stomach from a night before as anesthesia need to be given. Scared she said that I can not remain empty stomach I need to eat something in the morning. Doctor ask her how do you celebrate karwachauth then in a slight humor. Then it strikes me that this festival teaches you to mind control. why are we so addicted to food. The day I fast I listen to my body more.
Should men fast too?
In the world of Men Vs Women equality, there’s another question why there’s no such festival for men? Should men fast? I asked my husband will you fast and he said given an option “no” and encouraged me also to not fast. What should I do? Get into the battle of men vs woman and even my scores but that point in itself is the basis of this festival. The festival is about not letting ego come in and with gratitude pay thanks to the Goddess of Karwachauth. Do what makes you happy.
Is this festival for a woman too or only for her man?
Like Lisa, Nichols says you can love someone only when you love yourself enough. So this festival is not only about my husband or ego it is about me too. It is about me finding the right partner to live with and saying thanks to god for the same. The ritual says I fast for his long life and why to shy away from that thought because of course, I wish always for his long life.
What else can you do?
I try to add some more good at this festival by doing something for the needy. I also feel so much for the needy and poor who starve everywhere. Maharajji said the best form of worship is to feed the needy and starving. Even feed the stray animal as they come near you hungry. They know that you have money and skill to buy and cook food the stray animal is only waiting. Why not dedicate this day on fasting and “feeding the needy”. So I decided to make a small food packet and buy fruits to distribute the needy. I also fed food to stray cats that’s another way I celebrated the festival.
Is this Indian Valentine Day?
I don’t understand how everyone judge and tags each festival. No two festival are similar. But the basis of both festival is love between the two partners. here its husband and wife. Love is the most powerful force and it can be between you and your parents’ friends pet sibling or even husband. Like Rakhi is dedicated to Hindu religion on the love between sibling this festival is dedicated to celebrating the love between two partners. It’s a lovely way to celebrate love .
Just like other Hindu celebration this festival has a prayer ceremony.
Goddess is remembered in the form of a story called as the “Katha” followed by small prayer ritual on the worship. There Is a slight difference in the way different states of India like UP or Punjab or Rajasthan celebrate this festival but the fast is broken after seeing the “moon”, so Moon is important too. After that, the husband has seen through a sieve to complete the ritual. This is followed by dinner.
Its difficult in today’s world as woman work full time they fast but celebrating a part of the ritual is also a good idea, as it symbolizes our culture and is backed by age-old traditions.
I hope next karwachauth you will follow gratitude then judging this ritual and celebrate with huge fun.
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