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Karva Chauth Coloring Pages

Karva Chauth is a traditional Hindu festival for married women, and is celebrated in some parts of India.
Married women fast whole day without food or water for the long life of their husbands. The ritual signifies extreme love and devotion to the husband, as evidenced by the wife’s willingness to suffer for his well being.
It is celebrated on the Chaturthi after the full moon in the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar.
Karva means clay pot and Chauth means fourth night after the full moon. It has great social and cultural significance and is mostly practiced in northern India. Wives start their fast at night just after the appearance of the moon, within sight of their husbands. They then wait until the next night’s moonrise to begin the fast breaking ceremonies, without consuming any food or drink. In the evening women dress in their best clothing, and adorn themselves with jewellery and henna. On sighting the moon, they look and offer prayers and worship to it, and then receive their first bite of food and water from their husbands. Thereafter, women consume their special meal prepared for the occasion.
Worshipping the moon involves filling up the karwa with specially prepared food and jewellery and offering it to the god. Karvas are also exchanged with other women after that. Further practices involve telling and listening to stories regarding origin of Karva Chauth.
There are variations within regions, groups, and communities in India about rituals of starting and breaking the fast, and worshipping the moon. In Punjab, for example, women start their fast by consuming food called sergi sent or given by her mother-in-law before the dawn. The fast breaking ceremony involves looking at the moon through a sieve, and then looking at her husband’s face. They often close their eyes in the process and do not see anyone but their husbands just after seeing the moon. In other parts of India, there is no provision of sergi.
This festival is glorified and widely solemnized by the Hindus all over the world. On this day it is customary for the wife to fast the whole day. She does not drink water either. She paints her hands and feet with henna, dresses generally in red apparel and on her hair parting she smears vermilion. It is believed that a Pati-Vrat woman has the power to confront the God of Death, Yama. This Karva Chauth fast is undertaken by the wife, so that the husband enjoys a long and prosperous life.
A few days before Karva Chauth, married women buy new karvas, the spherical clay pots and paint them on the outside with beautiful designs. Inside the pot, they put bangles and ribbons, home-made candy and sweets, make-up items and small clothes e.g. handkerchief. The women then visit each other on the day of Karva Chauth or immediately afterward, and exchange these karvas. Season-wise, soon after the harvest, it is an excellent time to enjoy festivities, meet one another and exchange gifts. During the time of Karva Chauth, parents send gifts to married daughters and their children.
The pooja preparations start a day in advance. Married women buy the traditional adornments and the other pooja items the karva, matthi, henna etc.
Early in the morning they prepare food and have it before sunrise. The morning passes by in other festive activities like decorating hand and feet with henna decorating the pooja thali and meeting friends and relatives.
The essentials of this gathering and listening of the Karwa Chauth story, a special mud pot, that is considered a symbol of Lord Ganesh, a metal urn filled with water, flowers, idols of Ambika Gaur Mata, Goddess Parvati and some fruits, mathi and food grains. A part of this is offered to the deities and the storyteller. Women sit in a circle, and many such circles are made depending on the number of devotees attending the function as it is easy that the thalis are passed in a circle amongst themselves.
Earlier an idol of Gaur Mata was made using earth and cowdung. an idol of Goddess Parvati is kept. Every one lights an earthen lamp in their thalis while listening to the Karva story. Sindoor, incense sticks and rice are also kept in the thali.
At this time the women wear heavy saris or chunries in red, pink or other bridal colours, and adorn themselves with all other symbols of a married women like, nose pin, tika, bindi, bangles, earrings etc.
Once the moon rises, the women see its reflection in a plate of water, or through a dupatta or a sieve. They offer water to the moon and seek blessings. And then they turn to their husbands who is near them and touch his feet. They pray for the safety, prosperity and long life of their husbands. This marks the end of the day long fast.

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