Today was my first Karva Chauth and also my first fast! Karva Chauth is an annual Hindu festival observed by married women. The women fast from sunrise until moon rise on the fourth day after the full moon in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar (usually October/November) to ensure the long life, well-being and prosperity of their husbands (health insurance policy?).
She gets up before sunrise and eats her ‘sargi‘ which is traditionally given to her by her mother-in-laws (nuts, fruit etc.) before starting the day without food or liquids (bollywood fans, this was explained in that emotional movie, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham- oh so emosh).
In the evening, the women apply mehendi (henna) and wear beautiful sarees/dresses and jewellery. Newlyweds dress in their bridal outfits for their first Karva Chauth! When moon appears, women take a look at the moon through a sieve and worship the moon. They then look at their husbands through the same sieve and she prays for his long life. Her husband then brings a plate and offers her sweet to break the fast, followed by feast.
Unfortunately, I did not get up before sunrise so wasn’t able to prepare myself for my fast. Luckily… I still survived. I was offered pizza and refused. My stomach did make a couple of weird sounds and I became close to hallucinating a couple of times, but when I got home from work I put on my pink dress that I wore for our temple wedding.
I am really proud of myself for being able to complete this fast without cheating. I get so moody and short tempered without food. I have TRIED to fast before (fad diets etc.) and always given up way before lunch time, this time though my fast had a purpose- my husband. My husband was unable to be with me so we stayed up on Skype until I could see the moon. The internet told me that moonrise would be at 8.16pm but it wasn’t until 9.30pm until I found it.
The moon was hiding behind a couple of houses so I had to put Skype on my mobile phone so I could walk across the road with my husband in hand to get a glimpse of the moon. I wonder what people were thinking, a woman in Indian dress running around, mobile phone in hand, looking up at the sky?
Then I ate a lot of chocolate!
I hope all the ladies who fasted for Karva Chauth enjoyed their day and their feast!!