Karwa Chauth, a festival for women when its their day out — whether its clothes, jewellery, mehndi , make-up, etc. And then, staying without food and water all day long. And then seemingly endless wait together to see the moon.
What is it that they like the best about Karwa Chauth? “Getting ready,” chips in Shivani Thakur, a home maker.
Women get together for Karwa Chauth festivities in Sector 43, Chandigarh
Markets in the Tricity are decked up with stalls of bangles, finery, mehndi, makeup essentials. “Ever festival in India is a business opportunity,” said a male onlooker in the sector 22 market.
“The real flavour of a festival is community feeling, getting together of people,” he said. A real-life example of this was set by Chandigarh Mayor Sarbjit Kaur and other women councillors of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh who celebrated pre-Karwachauth with the women employees of MCC. The Mayor appreciated the women staff members who are balancing time between their professional and personal life during the festivities.
Chandigarh Mayor Sarbjit Kaur (with head covered) and other women councillors of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh celebrating pre-Karwa Chauth with the women employees.
Staying hungry and without water all day long, is it a burden or a blessing?
“Fasting and staying dehydrated the entire day is torturous, but yes it helps detoxify,” says Shivani.
Mehndi in Sector 3B2 Mohali market
Earlier what started as a ritual and tradition to worship men, over the years got corroded and has now become an occasion to celebrate womanhood. “I celebrate Karwa Chauth for myself, not because I want to impress my husband, “says 26–yr Pratima, who works in the IT sector.
On whether she would like to pass it on to her daughters, Shivani says, “ We can’t convince this generation to fast for their husbands.”
Is the festival losing its glory as more and more women in metros, cities do not fast?
“Its practically not possible for working women to fast, some husbands in fact do not appreciate their wives going hungry for the entire day,” says Jatinder Kaur Tur, a journalist.
“We have tweaked traditions and made rituals flexible according to our comfort level, so much so that people are getting engaged and married on online platforms,” adds Tur.
“Husband and wife working in different shifts, locations or even countries draws back working women from celebrating it,” she says.
But yes, come what may, festivals in India are huge crowd gatherers where people make the best of it, so go out there and take your pick.