According to tradition, goddess Parvathi fasted for getting Lord Shiva as her husband and she got her wish fulfilled. Similarly, women fast till they see the moon and their husbands through a strainer simultaneously. (Representational Image/AFP)
Hyderabad: Karwa Chauth has long been identified as a women's festival. It is celebrated predominantly in north India. In countless Bollywood movies, one might have watched scenes of wives fasting for the long life and prosperity of their husbands. But now, men in some families have begun fasting for their wives, highlighting love for their better halves.
According to tradition, goddess Parvathi fasted for getting Lord Shiva as her husband and she got her wish fulfilled. Similarly, women fast till they see the moon and their husbands through a strainer simultaneously. Since Karwa Chauth is a working day in Hyderabad, many working women complete household chores and attend their offices while fasting till the night.
Some north Indians who interacted with this newspaper said it was the duty of the women to pray for the well-being of their husbands. There aren’t any rituals for men to perform for the well-being of their women.
"Now men also fast for their wives. This is a major shift in the mindset of men. For women, this is a great achievement by women," said Neelam Nehra, a teacher staying at Boduppal, having her origins in Chandigarh.
"We wake up before the sunrise. After bath, we eat some snacks before sunrise. Later, a group of women meet to listen to the stories of Karva Chauth and offer arghya (libation of water as part of religious ritual) to the sun. The concluding ritual of the festival happens when the moon appears in the sky. Women light the lamp and see the moon and the husbands through a strainer," she explained.
Soniya Gilada, a resident of Himayatnagar, said Karva Chauth is considered as the most auspicious festival for married women in our culture.
"Most of the time, we are all just working and too busy in our lives. But this festive season we live, love, laugh, shop for clothes, apply henna, dress up the best for husband. This is the festival of love and togetherness for couples," she said.
Jalusha Lahoti, a resident of Himayatnagar having roots in Jalgaon, said: "It is the celebration of womanhood. Men taking part in the ritual is a great achievement. Modern man believes that women have equal status, as he too takes part in the fasting ritual."
Swapnika Jaiswal, an HR professional with links to Uttar Pradesh, said, "Though it’s a special day, I have been working while following the ritual. I really love to celebrate this day as I have a two-year-old daughter, who will learn from me as I learnt from my mother. This is how we strengthen our bonding."