KARVA CHAUTH:

       
Karwa Chauth is observed by married ladies on the fourth of the dark half of Kartik (October-November) in order to ensure prosperity, sound health and longevity of their husband. Widows and unmarried girls do not practice it. The married women keep a fast and do not take even a drop of water. They get up early in the morning, perform their ablutions and wear new and festive raiments.

        Shiva, Parvati and son Kartikeya are worshipped on this day along with ten Karwas (the small earthern pots with spouts) filled with sweets. The Karwas are given to the daughters and sisters along with gifts. At night when the moon appears, the women break their fast after offering water to the moon. The women tell among themselves the story of Karwa Chauth on this day. Sometimes a Brahmin priest tells this story and gets gift in return. The married women receive costly gifts from their husbands, brothers and parents on this occasion. They touch the feet of their mother Ė in  - law and other elderly ladies of the family and seek their blessings.

        There are many interesting stories related to the celebration of Karwa Chauth. A legend says that once on this day a young married women observed this fast at her parentís house. She was very beautiful and tender. The austerity of the strict fast made her almost lifeless. So, her brothers caused a fire on the nearby hill and told her that the moon has risen. The fire gave out the glow of the moon, than she received the evil news break her fast on seeing the false moon, than she received the evil news of her husbandís death at a distant place. She immediately set out for her husbandís house. On the way Shiva-Parvati met her and explained to her that the cause of her tragedy was the immature termination of the fast. Parvati gave her some blood from her little finger and asked the lady to sprinkle it on her dead husband. Parvati also advised her to observe complete and strict Karwa Chauth fast in future. On reaching home, the lady sprinkled the holy blood over her husband'sídead body and he was at once revived. Ever since then, she observed Karwa Chauth fast in stirct conformity and led a happy prosperous and healthy, life with her husband and children.