When we talk about Karwa Chauth the first thing comes first in mind is the beautiful married woman decked up in sizzling new red-colored saree, adorning the forehead with bindi, sindoor and wering sparkling jewelries perfectly signifying the essence of being married.
Karwa Chauth is a whole day fasting celebration where married women fast for a day to seek blessings from the heaven for well being and longevity of their husbands. More than this, it’s also a day that strengthens the bond of mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law.
The celebration kicks off a day before when the mother-in-law bestows her daughter-in-law with sargi gifts for Karwa Chauth. Sargi for Karwa Chauth is an auspicious gift that is given as a preparation for the fast. The sargi consists of the essentials that would help a married woman dress up like a bride. They also include sewayian or vermicelli.
A Sargi consists of the given items:
- Red ribbon
- Red clothes
- Beauty products
- Glass Bangles
- Dry fruits
- Fresh Fruits
- Sugar cane
All the above mentioned goodies contained in sargi are also called as Suhaag Pitari.
The lady going to observe the fast and her husband are supposed to cook vermicelli with milk & eat along with fresh fruits before the sunrise to begin the festival.
The most significant part if the celebration is known as Baya. This is the offering given to the Gauri Mata that comes from the in-laws of the lady. A baya consists of mathris or matthis, basically a deep-fried dough fritter. The matthis are of three types, plain with no sugar, sweet and one with the hole. The sweet matthis and the plain ones are given to mother-in-law as a token of love.
To make matthi at home you need to proceed with given ingredients:
300 g refined flour
- 75g ghee
- salt to taste
- chilled water
- few crushed black pepper corns
Mix the ghee in flour and rub till the both ingredients mix well and the flour tends to show some binding properties itself.
Now add seasoning and water to make firm dough. Keep the dough aside for half an hour.
Now roll a proportion out of dough like a chapatti & make incision with knife so that it may not fluff up like a poori.
Deep fry the chapttis on moderate heat.
Cool and store in airtight container.
All the married ladies observing this fast spend the whole day dressing up like a bride. They gather at a place and pray to the Goddess for their husband’s long life and success. During sunset all the ladies get together and pray to the deity. This process is called Baya Mansana & there is a special song dedicated to this ritual:
Veero Kudiye Karwada,
Sarv Suhagan Karwada,
A Katti Na Ateri Naa,
Kumbh Chrakhra Feri Naa,
Gwand Pair payeen Naa,
Sui Che Dhaga Payeen Naa
Ruthda maniyen Naa,
Suthra Jagayeen Naa,
Bhain Pyari Veeran,
Chan Chade Te Pani Peena
Ve Veero Kuriye Karwara,
Ve Sarv Suhagan Karwara…….
While keeping the fast, the lady isn’t allowed to do the daily chores, as it’s a superstitious belief that it will cause bad health to her husband. A lady isn’t allowed to run the mill or sew, use the knife or to wake somebody from sleeping.
During the moonrise, the lady offers the soaked almonds and water to the moon thanking it for the successful completion of her fast. After that the lady breaks her daylong fast after having a drop of water and a bite of food from her husband’s hand.
This celebration may not be a much talked about celebration around the world, but still it holds immense significance in the life of an Indian married woman and also celebrated in Bollywood.