• There are many traditions in India.
• But today I would like to talk about a tradition which is quite popular, especially in North India.
• The tradition is called ‘karvachauth’.
• It is a tradition in which women keep a fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands.
• It is celebrated on a particular day based on the Hindu Lunar Calendar.
• It is mainly a Hindu tradition, but some women from Sikh religion also celebrate it.
• Its origin is based on military campaigns of the past.
• The men would go to wars, and women would keep a fast for their safe return.
• In today’s time, it is seen as a symbol of love and affection between a husband and wife.
• In fact, nowadays even men keep a fast along with women to support them.
• Women begin preparing for Karva Chauth a few days in advance, by buying adornments jewellery, and other prayer items.
• On the day of Karva Chauth, women dress up and at night they do a small prayer along with husbands with the moon in the backdrop.
• After this, they break their fast.
• Earlier, I saw this tradition as a symbol of patriarchy in some sense, where only women are meant to keep a fast.
• But now I see it more as a symbol of love and sacrifice
• I think as long as there is no compulsion on women to do this and they do this on their own, there is nothing wrong with it.
Part 3 – Follow up Questions
1. What is the importance of traditional festivals?
I think traditional festivals fulfill three functions. They connect us to our roots, our culture, and our origins, giving us a sense of identity. Secondly, they bring families and friends together, and lastly, they help us forget about our worries and stress.
2. What’s the difference between festivals now and in the past?
I think the main difference between festivals now and in the past is the purpose of the celebration. Earlier people celebrated festivals for a purpose, but now people have forgotten the meaning behind the festivals. Festivals are only celebrated for joy and merriment.
3. Do you think western festivals like Christmas are replacing traditional festivals in your country?
Yes, one of the influences of western movies and Hollywood has been the coming of western festivals like Christmas and Halloween. For the past two-three years, even I decorate a tree and ask for gifts from my parents at Christmas. Similarly, in these past few years, I have seen children going for trick or treating on Halloween in my neighborhood.
4. Do you think it is wrong for children not to celebrate traditional festivals?
I wish children today are as passionate about celebrating traditional festivals as they are about celebrating western festivals. But I don’t think it is wrong. I think festivals are about fun and merriment and it does not matter which festivals they are celebrating as long as they are enjoying themselves.