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Karwa Chauth Utsav In Satsang Center

Sangeeta Saxena
10/19/2006

On the beautiful autumn afternoon of October 10th, a group of about fifty ladies, very enthusiastically celebrated the traditional Karwa Chauth Puja, held annually at Satsang Center, Woburn. The great diversity of Hindu Dharmic traditions is manifested through its traditional festivals, which help in symbolizing, reflecting and enriching social life in a specific cultural setting. The Satsang Center  and Gayatri Parivar together hosted  this event. Sangeeta Saxena made preparations and organized the puja on popular demand and made contacts with lots of interested ladies in the area for over a month to invite them to join the event. All the participants came elegently dressed in festive bridal colors. Several ladies had beautiful hena designs also on their hands.

As such, Karwa Chauth is a traditional fasting day observed by married Hindu women seeking the long-life, well-being and prosperity of their husbands. They keep a strict fast and do not take even a drop of water. It is one of the most important and difficult fast observed by married Hindu women. The fast is broken once the moon is sighted and traditional puja/katha of the day have been performed. At night when the moon appears, women break their fast after offering water to the moon. In Hindu Dharma, the goal of life is Self-realization or the attainment of the Highest Consciousness (Parmatman) and fasting has been a much sought after technique among many others, for this purpose. All Hindu fasting have a deep spiritual  significance.

The festival of Karva Chauth has emerged as a day to celebrate the season of autumn and enjoy the company of friends and relatives. As the name signifies, Karva meaning a clay pot and Chauth meaning fourth, i.e. this festival is observed on the fourth day after the Full Moon in Kartik month of Hindu calendar (nine days before Diwali). Apart from the fast, kept by married woman for the long life of their husbands, people like to remember and meet their relatives and friends, and exchange gifts with them. Thus, Karva Chauth is very much a social and seasonal festival as it is a religious affair.

In the extremely rich tapestry of India’s cultural diversity, the festival of Karwa Chauth, indicates the importance of family and the significant role of women in Hindu Dharma. Indeed, in most Hindu households, the woman serves as a significant link between the family and society. Thus, apart from religious reasons, this festival of Karwa Chauth holds more of a social significance.



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