Karva Chauth is a one-day festival celebrated mostly in northern parts of India. On this occasion married women fast from sunrise to "moon rise" for the welfare and longevity of their husbands. Even many unmarried girls perform the rituals wishing for a good life partner.
The day falls on the fourth day of the full moon and this year it is on 11 October.
'Karva' basically means clay pot and 'chauth' means fourth. It is popular mainly in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. This festival is celebrated immediately after the autumn harvest. This is said to be the best time to meet relatives and friends and also to exchange gifts.
The married women receive gifts from their mother-in-law as well as from their mother. In Punjab, 'sargi' a pre-dawn meal is sent or given by the mother-in-law as part of the tradition. In some regions, the women exchange painted clay pots filled with bangles, ribbons, sweets, cosmetics, some clothes according to their custom.
Women put henna and spend time to look attractive in traditional Indian attire. A pink or red sari with a gold-woven pattern is worn usually in the evening. New brides will wear their wedding costumes.
In some places, a priest or an elderly woman tells stories (Katha) regarding the true meaning of Karva Chauth. Then the ladies sing Karva Chauth puja songs in group and pass their thalis around in the circle.
They break their fast by looking at the rising moon through a sieve and then to their husband. The women are fed sweets and given a sip of water by their husbands.
Check out the slideshow of women celebrating Karva Chauth.