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Karwa Chauth 2008: A House Full Celebration At Satsang Center

Sanjay Saxena

Karwa Chauth 2008 :A House full celebration at Satsang Center

“Thank you very much for the pictures and for making my Karwa chauth memorable! This was the first year I participated in the group pooja (I didn't know about it before!) and was probably my best celebrated karwa chauth in the last 9 years :-)”, says Yogita, who joined over 150 ladies celebrating the festival of Karwa-Chauth at Satsang Center of Woburn. And, Debapriya adds, “it was great attending the Karva Chauth celebrations.”

Satsang Center was buzzing with vibrant  life on a festive autumn afternoon of October 17th 2008, as a house full of ladies enthusiastically  came in to celebrate the traditional Karwa Chauth Puja. Many took a day off and some left early in the afternoon from their work. Sangeeta Saxena  is helping Satsang Center in hosting this celebration year after year with continuously increasing participation. She developed contacts with lots of interested ladies in the surrounding  communities of Boston area and personally invited them to jointly celebrate this festival.  

The great diversity of Hindu Dharmic traditions is revealed through its traditional festivals, which help in celebrating, reflecting and enriching social life in a specific cultural context. All the participants came elegantly dressed in festive bridal colors. Several ladies had beautiful henna designs also on their hands. As such, Karwa Chauth is a traditional fasting day kept by married Hindu women seeking the long-life, well-being and prosperity of their husbands. Some keep a strict fast and do not take even a drop of water. 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 realization of the Supreme Consciousness (Parmatman), and fasting has been a much sought after technique among many others, in pursuit of this goal.

This festival recognizes wife’s commitment to husband. And, lately many husbands have also started fasting with their wife, making it a celebration of mutual understanding, tender heart and personal warmth. The festival of Karwa Chauth has also emerged as a day to celebrate the festive  season of autumn and enjoy the company of close  friends and relatives. As the name suggests, Karwa meaning a clay pot and Chauth meaning fourth, that is this festival is observed on the fourth day after the Full Moon in Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. Apart from the fast, kept by married lady 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 seasonable festival as it is a religious affair. In the extremely rich tapestry of India's cultural diversity, the festival of Karwa Chauth, shows the utmost  value of family and the significant role of women in Hindu Dharma. Indeed, in most Hindu households, the lady 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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