Over 50 countries worldwide celebrate Mother’s Day, but India has a special equivalent to this holiday — Karva Chauth. In India, the festival of Karva Chauth exists to celebrate married women and their relationships. In 2022, Karva Chauth will fall on Wednesday, October 12, and Thursday, October 13.
In some (but not all) instances, Karva Chauth is also known as Karva Chauth. Regardless of the name, this tradition is important for married women and their communities. As with any festival, there are some special ways to get ready for the celebration, which we will highlight below.
Our team here at Lashkaraa is here to help you get ready for Karva Chauth with tips on what to wear, what to do, and more.
When Is Karva Chauth?
Karva Chauth takes place on the fourth day after Purnima in the month of Kartik, according to the Hindu calendar. In other words, the celebration takes place four days after you see the full moon.
Unlike other lunisolar calendars, the Hindu calendar adds additional dates every few years to avoid long-term discrepancies in calculated time. Because of this, the one-day celebration of Karva Chauth consistently takes place in October and November. In 2021, Karva Chauth was on October 24th, and in 2022, Karva Chauth will begin on the evening of October 12th.
Because it occurs after the full moon, Karva Chauth is during Krishna Paksha, when the moon wanes. This leads into Diwali, which occurs shortly after the festival.
Who Celebrates Karva Chauth?
Karva Chauth is an Indian celebration, but it is specifically a north Indian tradition. It is celebrated in:
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- And more
In recent years, even cities that have not traditionally observed Karva Chauth, like Mumbai, have started observing it.
Karva Chauth is traditionally observed by married women, though sometimes women with long-term, significant others will also participate. Though other people are not directly involved, many shops will provide related paraphernalia, and family members offer support during this time.
What Happens on Karva Chauth?
There are several special traditions that take place on Karva Chauth, including a fast, giving of meaningful gifts, and more.
The day begins with a Karva Chauth fast, which lasts until moonrise. In between, the brides gather with friends and family, observe pooja, and adorn themselves like brides.
The Karva Chauth festival is also all about gift-giving and community. It’s a time for husbands to celebrate their wives by giving gifts and entirely taking over household duties. Married women will often gather with friends and family throughout the day, applying Mehendi artwork and makeup.
It’s also a time for married women to give gifts to each other. Gifts of bangles and other jewelry are traditional. With the application of henna and beautification rituals, the married women will look much like new brides.
The Karva Chauth Puja
In the afternoon, the Karva Chauth puja begins. The group assembles with large plates, which contain many items given previously by their mothers, along with gifts for mothers-in-law. An earthen pot is also included in these items as a symbol of the ritual.
The Night of Karva Chauth
The evening rituals feature singing, an offering of drink to the moon, and a breaking of the fast. When the Kachi lassi, a sweet drink, is offered to the moon, the husband then feeds it to his wife. With this act of intimacy, the fast is broken. These rituals have evolved over time and have been affected by Bollywood representation of the festival.
How To Prepare for Karva Chauth
The Karva Chauth celebrations are a big deal, so it’s best to take time and prepare for all that is to come.
For mothers with married daughters, you’ll want to gather supplies in advance to prepare for the festivities. It’s the perfect time to prepare some of your family’s favorite meals for the breaking of the Karva Chauth fast.
There are other steps to follow when preparing for the Karva Chauth Puja. These include getting thalis, large plates, as well as a lamp, the Kachi lassi, sweets, and gifts for your mother-in-law. With these prepared in advance, the day can go on without any stress involved.
If you’re a wife, it’s smart to plan ahead for who you’ll visit during the festival. You don’t need to go to a specific place to celebrate Karva Chauth, leaving plenty of options open. You can gather at a central friend's location or even go to different homes throughout the day.
You should also make sure you have Mehndi accounted for. Plenty of seating, clothing that allows easy access to limbs, and a talented artist are all important. It can be fun to apply each other's Mehndi, or you can hire an artist. If you’re doing the latter, plan ahead and make sure they’re available on the day of the festival.
It’s also a time to think about what you’ll wear for Karva Chauth. Many choose to wear their original bridal lehenga, as shown by recent Bollywood icons. If you would rather wear something newer, or keep your bridal wear special, then you have a variety of options.
What Should You Wear on Karva Chauth?
For your Karva Chauth dress, you should consider colors that reflect traditional bridal apparel. After all, this festival is all about how special it is to be a married woman. Gold, green, and red all make for wonderful options during this time.
The Best Lehengas for Karva Chauth
The Deep Wine and Gold Thread Embroidery Lehenga makes for a chic, understated, and elaborate design. The rich, dark fabric is complemented well by metallic undertones through complex beads, dabka, tilla, and lace.
Here, the off-the-shoulder choli is completed through half-sleeves and modern stitching methods. The same degree of detail runs throughout the bottom, which drips until the bottom foot reveals more gold thread than wine fabric. The dupatta is blazingly bright, creating a complex layer of detail with the other pieces.
We trade subtle lustrous undertones for a brighter, brassy look in our Dark Green and Gold Embroidered Lehenga. The cropped choli starts out by creating an immaculate silhouette. The piece brings about symmetry through the v-neckline and raised bottom, with triangular edges. A mixture of zari, thread, and sequin work defined the light, sheer sleeves.
The net lehenga is defined by a wide variety of designs cascading down, creating symmetry from all angles. A loop of thread work announces the waist, and the designs only grow more intricate as you descend. Small floral accents give way to larger ones, which then give way to bold paisley. At the bottom of the lehenga, full floral vines are represented in exquisite detail.
The dupatta design is comparatively simple but no less eye-catching. Tightly woven, straight lines of golden embroidery create a rush of linearity, no matter how you drape it.
Both pieces are handmade in India and personally hand-checked to ensure quality in every thread. This ensures that even when your celebrations are outside the country, your apparel doesn’t have to be.
What Should Men Wear for Karva Chauth?
While men aren’t in the spotlight on Karva Chauth, it’s still a time when every man should look his best.
Karva Chauth is a special occasion, so you’ll want to wear one of your classiest, most stylish outfits. We highly recommend a Pathani suit and vest. If you’re married, wear one in a color that’s coordinated with your wife’s lehenga.
Our White Pathani Suit and Floral Waistcoat is the perfect outfit for any man on Karva Chauth. It’s fun, festive, and formal all at once, making it ideal apparel for the festival. If you want something in darker hues, try our Black Embossed Bandhgala Set, which is also an instant favorite choice for weddings and other special occasions.
What Should Kids Wear for Karva Chauth?
Karva Chauth is a special time for kids, too.
The littlest members of your family are a big part of your Karva Chauth celebration. They get to take part in the festivities by dressing up, enjoying food with friends and family, and celebrating their mothers.
Gold, green, and red are all ideal colors for a kid’s Karva Chauth outfit. For the boys, this Peach Floral Nehru Jacket and Pants are sure to get a few compliments from friends and family! For the girls, our stunning Red and Pink Printed Satin Lehenga is just as beautiful and eye-catching as what a mother would wear on Karva Chauth.
Enjoy Karva Chauth!
Karva Chauth is a time to celebrate your connections with those closest to you. On the one hand, you are able to connect with a broader community of women in your network. On the other hand, you get to celebrate the unbreakable bond of love for your spouse.
The most important part of the festival is these connections. Prepare for the day so that when it comes, you can be in the moment, cherishing every part of it.