Friday, 30 October 2015

Festivals of India



Karwa Chauth
Karwa Chauth is a festival that provides an opportunity for all married women to get close to their in-laws. All married women observes fast that ensures the well-being,    prosperity and longevity of their husbands. This Hindu festival has a cultural and social significance and all Indians celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm.







The festival of Karwa Chauth is celebrated mostly by North India.This event is growing bigger with each passing day. In addition to the traditional items such as henna, beauty products and fashionable clothes, the demand of special eateries are also gearing up. Nowadays, Karwa Chauth is more of fun than a serious festival.




Karva is another word for diya (a small earthen oil-lamp) and chauth means 'fourth' in Hindi (a reference to the fact that the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or krishna paksh, of the month of Kartik). It is uncertain how the festival originated and how it came to be celebrated only in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. One hypothesis is that military campaigns and long-distance travel usually resumed around the time of the festival, as the area dried and numerous rivers of the region subsided from the effects of the monsoon. Women observed the fast to pray the Moon for the safety of their husbands at this time as they ventured away from home. The festival also coincides with the wheat-sowing time (i.e. the beginning of the Rabi crop cycle). Big earthen pots in which wheat is stored are also sometimes called karvas, so the fast may also have begun as a prayer for a good harvest in this predominantly wheat-eating region.

Karwa Chauth is an occasion that encourages people to gather and socialize with friends and family, exchange gifts and share home-cooked meals. The gifts exchanged on this occasion reflect joy, splendor, brightness and happiness of a married life.


Sargi




 Sargi and Baya are the two most important gifting items, as without them the festival of Karva chauth is incomplete. These gift items are very traditional and are supposed to bring good luck in the lives of the married couple. It is Mother-in-laws who gift 'sargi' for their daughter-in-laws. This 'sargi' is a collection of sumptuous food consists of various types of sweetmeats and sometime clothes. 'Sargi' is given to the married woman so that she can eat them before sunrise, as the fast starts before sunrise and ends only after worshiping the moon at night. It is a tough fast, as the women do not take any food or water.

Baya




In the afternoon, mothers of newlywed girls gift 'Baya' to the parents of their son-in-law. This Baya contains few Mathris, Almonds and some gifts. This gift pack should reach the girl's house before evening. A small pooja to Gaura Ma or goddess Parvati is performed. Married women sit around Gaura ma and pray to her for the well being and long life of their husbands. A small pitcher or Karva with some water is placed in the center. While the story is being narrated, ladies circulate their Baya thalis. Apart from traditional gifts, nowadays there is a norm of showering various designers’ clothes, bindies and jewelries, especially to a newlywed woman.




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