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    Karva Chauth India’s Most Romantic Festival Photos:
    Karva Chauth is a popular festival observed by married Hindu and Sikh women for the longevity of their husbands or fiancés. The etymology of Karva Chauth is Karva meaning a small earthen oil-lamp and chauth implies ‘fourth’. Because of its immense cultural and social significance, and emotional attachment between the spouses, Karva Cauth festival has become well known extensively. Traditionally, on the occasion of Karva Chauth married women renounce themselves from eating or drinking water from sunrise till the moment of the moonrise for the well-being of their husbands by following rituals. They break their day long fast only after the moon becomes visible in the evening and when husbands offer water or food.
    When is Karva Chauth in 2011? Karva Chauth 2011 will be celebrated on October 15 with great enthusiasm. Karva Chauth is a one-day festival celebrated with great excitement in the states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Gujarat. In the Punjabi community, the woman starts her fast by having sargi prepared by the mother-in-law. The Karva Chauth date depends entirely based on Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik.
    Women for Karva Chauth prepare themselves in advance by buying ornaments, new traditional clothes and festival related items. The colors of the dresses are mainly chosen in orange, gold and red as they are believed to be auspicious. Decorating hands and feet with henna in intricate designs is also an old tradition believed to fortify the bond of love.

    As the evening approaches, women gather together in circle singing traditional songs and a version of Karva Chauth story is narrated with regular pauses by an older woman. The Karva Chauth Katha is usually associated with various celebrated tales of female characters who sacrificed herself to save her husband’s life.
    In the contemporary times, Karva Chauth is interpreted as a romantic festival that symbolizes the love and affection between wife and husband. The essence of this festival has also been portrayed with excellence in the Indian movies.

    Karva Chauth is celebrated in various innovative ways and sending lovely Karva Chauth SMS is one such trend. The SMSs are customized with beautiful words to carry the significance of the festival or say ‘Happy Karva Chauth’.

    Celebration of Karva Chauth is severely criticized as fostering sexism because the males do not follow the tradition of fasting. However, irrespective of massive criticism the festivity has not lost its spirit and color, and is observed ardently by the women and men in India.

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