News 24 bureau
New Delhi: After brisk shopping for Karva Chauth fast, it is time to wait anxiously for moon on Tuesday. As the weather in north India is perfect, it is expected that Karva Chauth moon would not give tough time to all those ladies who are observing fast for the long lives of their hubbies.
Earlier, all markets in almost all parts of north India witnessed massive activities due to Karva Chauth. Ladies were on buying spree. They were buying from bangles to clothes for Karva Chauth fast.
Reports reaching here from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh say that all markets remain open till midnight on Monday due to brisk Karva Chauth shopping. Things were same even in sector 17 of Chandigarh, Meerut, Karnal, Kanpur and other cities too. Arunesh Sharma, an owner of Saree showroom in one of the leading markets of the capital, says that they are expecting heavy shopping till Diwali.
It may be recalled that Karva Chauth falls about nine days before Diwali on the Kartik ki Chauth some time in October or November. It is the most important fast observed by the women of North India. A woman keeps such a fast for the well-being of her husband, who becomes her protector after she leaves her parents home. Her husband provides her with food, shelter, clothing, respectability, comfort and happiness.
This is indeed a very tough fast to observe as it starts before sunrise and ends after worshipping the moon, which usually rises at about 8.45 p.m. No food or water is to be taken after 4 a.m. or after sunrise. Nowadays, this fast is kept even in modern educated homes, becoming a symbol of the sentiment that a woman has for her husband.
A sari (in the baya) is a must for the first Karva Chauth of a girl. One thing to be taken care of is that the baya reaches the girl`s in-laws home, where the girl has gone during the course of the day, before the evening. The baya is given to the mother-in-law after the manasna. If the mother-in-law is not present, then the eldest lady in the house is presented with the baya. Sometimes, the elder one chooses to take only the perishable items, and leaves cash and clothes for the mother-in-law.
Invited for the baya; otherwise the best place is a verandah or the open courtyard, since generally the weather is not cold during this season. The puja place is decorated with kharia matti, which has been soaked in water two to three hours earlier, and takes a semi-liquid form. A chowk like in any other puja - is decorated on the floor.