When is it?
Wednesday 19th October 2016. It is a restricted holiday in India meaning government offices and businesses will remain open. (Employees have the flexibility to take time off to celebrate this holiday within the limited number of restricted holidays allowed.)
What is it?
It is a very popular and significant day amongst Hindu women, especially in northern India. It is a tradition followed by married women only. They observe a day long fast for the long life and well being of their husband. Some will also not drink water until the sighting of the moon in the late evening. Sometimes young women will observe the fast in the hope of marrying a good husband in future.
How is it celebrated?
Karabala and Karva are small pitchers whic are used during Puja and given as a charity or Dan for the well being and long life of the husband. They are also for the sons, grandsons for wealth and everlasting prosperity of the family.
The fasting and Puja performed is mainly dedicated to the goddess Parvati who is worshipped during the first Puja. This is followed by Puja for lord Shiva, lord Kartikeya and lord Ganesha. Women also worship goddess Gaura and Chauth Mata who represent goddess Parvati on the day of Karaka Chaturthi. Puja can be performed dressed as a bride. The fast is broken after sighting the moon through a sieve or transparent cloth and then sighting the husband after the sighting of the moon.