A woman looking through a sieve after completing the fast, first looking at the rising moon and then at her husband.
|Observed by||Hindu women of North India|
|Type||Late autumn festival|
|Observances||Fasting by married women|
|Begins||Fourth day of the waning moon fortnight (Krishna paksha) in the month of Kartik|
|2013 date||October 22|
|2014 date||October 11|
|Related to||Dussehra and Diwali|
Karva Chauth (Hindi: करवा चौथ) is a one-day festival celebrated by Hindu women in North India in which married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. The fast is observed in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, western Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik. Sometimes, unmarried women observe the fast for their fiancés or desired husbands.
Etymology and origins
Karva is another word for 'pot' (a small earthen pot of water) and chauth means 'fourth' in Hindi (a reference to the fact that the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or krishna paksh, of the month of Kartik). It is uncertain how the festival originated and how it came to be celebrated only in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. One hypothesis is that military campaigns and long-distance travel usually resumed around the time of the festival, as the area dried and numerous rivers of the region (see Sapta Sindhu) subsided from the effects of the monsoon. Women observed the fast to pray for the safety of their husbands at this time as they ventured away from home. The festival coincides with the wheat-sowing time (i.e., the beginning of the Rabi crop cycle). Big earthen pots in which wheat is stored are sometimes called Karvas, so the fast may have begun as a prayer for a good harvest in this predominantly wheat-eating region.
There is another story about the origin of this festival. Earlier, girls sometimes barely teenagers used to get married, go and live with their in-laws in very remote villages. Everyone would be a stranger there for the new bride. In case she had any problems with her husband or in-laws, she would have no one to talk to or seek support from. Her own parents and relatives would be quite far and unreachable. Telephones, buses and trains were not heard of in those days. People had to walk almost a whole day to go from one place to other. Once the girl left her parent's home for in-laws, she might not be back before long. Thus the custom started that, at the time of marriage, when bride would reach her in-laws, she would befriend another woman there who would be her friend (kangan-saheli) or sister (dharam-behn) for life. It would be like god-friends or god-sisters. Their friendship would be sanctified through a small Hindu ceremony right during the marriage. The bride's friend would usually be of the same age (or slightly older), married into the same village (so that she would not go away) and not directly related to her in-laws (so there was no conflict of interest later). Emotionally and psychologically, it would be very healthy and comforting for the bride to have her own 'relative' near her.Once the bride and this woman had become god-friends or god-sisters, they would recognize their relation as such. They would treat each other like real sisters. During any issues later in life, involving even the husband or in-laws, these women would be able to confidently talk or seek help from each other. Moreover, the bride's parents would treat her friend just like their own daughter. Thus Karva Chauth started as a festival to celebrate this special bond of friendship between the brides and their god-friends . The notion of praying and fasting for the husband came much later and is secondary. It was probably added, along with other mythical tales, to enhance the meaning of the festival. In any case, husbands would always be associated with this festival, because the day of starting this friendship between two god-sisters was essentially the day of bride's marriage to him. Hence praying and fasting for him by his wife during a celebration of her relationship with the god-friend would seem quite logical. A few days before Karva Chauth, married women would buy new karvas (spherical clay pots) -- 7"-9" in diameter and 2-3 litres capacity—and paint them on the outside with beautiful designs. Inside they would put bangles and ribbons, home-made candy and sweets, make-up items, and small clothes. The women would then visit each other on the day of Karva Chauth and exchange these karvas.
Women begin preparing for Karva Chauth a few days in advance, by buying cosmetics (shringar), traditional adornments or jewelry, and puja items, such as the Karva lamps, matthi, henna and the decorated puja thali (plate). Local bazaars take on a festive look as shopkeepers put their Karva Chauth related products on display. On the day of the fast, women from Punjab awake to eat and drink just before sunrise. In Uttar Pradesh, celebrants eat soot feni with milk in sugar on the eve of the festival. It is said that this helps them go without water the next day. In Punjab, sargi (ਸਰਗੀ) is an important part of this pre-dawn meal and always includes fenia. It is traditional for the sargi to be sent or given to the woman by her mother-in-law. If the mother-in-law lives with the woman, the pre-dawn meal is prepared by the mother-in-law.
The fast begins with dawn. Fasting women do not eat during the day, and some do not drink any water either. In traditional observances of the fast, the fasting woman does no housework. Women apply henna and other cosmetics to themselves and each other. The day passes in meeting friends and relatives. In some regions, it is customary to give and exchange painted clay pots filled with put bangles, ribbons, home-made candy, cosmetics and small cloth items (e.g., handkerchiefs). Since Karva Chauth follows soon after the Kharif crop harvest in the rural areas, it is a good time for community festivities and gift exchanges. Parents often send gifts to their married daughters and their children.
In the evening, a community women-only ceremony is held. Participants dress in fine clothing and wear jewellery and henna, and (in some regions) dress in the complete finery of their wedding dresses. The dresses (saris or shalwars) are frequently red, gold or orange, which are considered auspicious colors. In Uttar Pradesh, women wear saris or lehangas. The fasters sit in a circle with their puja thalis. Depending on region and community, a version of the story of Karva Chauth is narrated, with regular pauses. The storyteller is usually an older woman or a priest, if one is present. In the pauses, the Karva Chauth puja song is sung collectively the singers perform the feris (passing their thalis around in the circle).
The first six describe some of the activities that are taboo during the fast and the seventh describes the lifting of those restrictions with the conclusion of the fast. The forbidden activities include weaving cloth (kumbh chrakhra feri naa), pleading with or attempting to please anyone (ruthda maniyen naa), and awakening anyone who is asleep (suthra jagayeen naa). For the first six feris they sing
|“||...Veero kudiye Karvara, Sarv suhagan Karvara, Aye katti naya teri naa, Kumbh chrakhra feri naa, Aar pair payeen naa, Ruthda maniyen naa, Suthra jagayeen naa, Ve veero kuriye Karvara, Ve sarv suhagan Karvara...||”|
For the seventh feri, they sing
|“||...Veero kudiye Karvara, Sarv suhagan Karvara, Aye katti naya teri nee, Kumbh chrakhra feri bhee, Aar pair payeen bhee, Ruthda maniyen bhee, Suthra jagayeen bhee, Ve veero kuriye Karvara, Ve sarv suhagan Karvara...||”|
In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, participants exchange Karvas seven times between themselves. In Rajasthan, before offering water seven times the fasting woman is asked "Dhapi ki Ni Dhapi?" (are you satiated?), to which she responds, "Jal se Dhapi, Suhaag se na Dhapi" (I am satiated by water, but not from [love of] my husband). An alternative ritual conducted by Uttar Pradeshis is prayer of "gaur mata" the earth. Specifically, celebrants will take a bit of soil, sprinkle water, and then place kumkum on it, treating it as an idol/manifestation of the fertile Mother Earth. In Rajasthan, stories are told by older women in the family, including narratives of Karva Chauth, Shiv, Parvati and Ganesh. In earlier times, an idol of Gaur Mata was made using earth and cow dung, which has now been replaced with an idol of Parvati. Each fasting woman lights an earthen lamp in her thali while listening to the Karva story. Sindoor, incense sticks and rice are also kept in the thali.
In Uttar Pradesh, a priest or an elderly woman of the family narrates the story of beejabeti or Veervati. Celebrants make Gauri, Ganesh and Shankar idols with mud and decorate them with colourful and bright clothes and jewellery. While exhanging Karvas seven times, they sing
|“||...Sadaa suhagan karve lo, Pati ki pyari karve lo, Saat bhaiyon ke behen karve lo, Vart karni karve lo, Saas ki pyaari karve lo...||”|
The fera ceremony concluded, the women await the rising of the moon. Once the moon is visible, depending on the region and community, it is customary for a fasting woman, with her husband nearby, to view its reflection in a vessel filled with water, through a sieve, or through the cloth of a dupatta. Water is offered (arka) to the moon (som or chandra, the lunar deity) to secure its blessings. She then turns to her husband and views his face indirectly in the same manner. In some regions, the woman says a brief prayer asking for her husband's life. It is believed that at this stage, spiritually strengthened by her fast, the woman can successfully confront and defeat death (personified by Yama). In Rajasthan the women say "Like the gold necklace and the pearl bracelet, just like the moon may my suhaag always shine brightly."
The husband now takes the water from the thali and gives his wife her first sip and feeds her with the first morsel of the day (usually something sweet). The fast is now broken, and the woman has a complete meal.
Popular cultural aspects and critiques
In modern North Indian society, Karva Chauth is considered to be a romantic festival, symbolizing the love between a husband and wife. It has been celebrated in Bollywood movies such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, where an unmarried woman signals her love for a man by keeping the fast for him and he reciprocates by secretly fasting as a gesture of empathy, as well as demonstrating his concern for her during the day and breaking her fast by feeding her at moonrise, and Baghban, in which a man persuades his elderly fasting wife to break her fast over the telephone because they have been separated by their uncaring children. News coverage of celebrities sometimes highlights the keeping of the fast by an unmarried public figure because it indicates a strong and likely permanent romantic attachment. Similar to Valentine's Day, the lack of a romantic partner can acutely be felt by unattached women. The festival is used extensively in advertising campaigns in the region, for instance in a Chevrolet TV spot in which a man demonstrates his caring for his wife by buying a car with a sunroof so he can drive her around on Karva Chauth night until she spots the moon through it.
Since Karva Chauth is celebrated primarily by women (men are entirely excluded from the festival's observances until moonrise, though they are expected to demonstrate attention and concern for their fasting wives) and because beauty rituals and dressing-up are a significant part of the day, the festival is seen as an event that bonds women together. In the present day, groups of unmarried women sometimes keep the fast out of a sense of friendship, though this practice is far from universal. This is especially true in the urban areas of North India and is interpreted as a prayer for a loving husband in the future. Another trend in the northern urban areas is the spreading of the festival's observance to women originating in communities and regions (such as Bengal and Maharashtra) that have not traditionally celebrated Karva Chauth or even been aware of the festival's existence.
The festival has been criticized as being inherently sexist because there is no reciprocal fasting by males. There have been calls to modify or eliminate the festival by commentators who hold it to be "anti-women" and to "perpetuate the notion of women's dependence on men." Karva chauth has been cited as a symbol of cultural repression of women by some Indian feminists, such as Madhu Kishwar who has put it in the same class as "Khomeinivad" (i.e., pushing women into position of subservience to their husbands, similar to the family structure allegedly favored by Ayatollah Khomeini). Other feminists, however, have called the festival empowering for women because Karva Chauth enables them to quit housework completely for the day and expect gifts from their husbands. Some writers have asserted that such "rituals work insidiously" to create a "an instrument of social control" that oppresses women and that the even greater popularity of Karva Chauth among urban, educated participants raises the question of "which is the greater barrier to women's liberation: religion or the market."
Sikhism and Karva Chauth
Sikh doctrine opposes austerities and ritualism for spiritual benefit, including the concepts of pilgrimage and fasting. The Sikh gurus did not support the idea of any spiritual or religious benefits of fasting. Specifically, while fasting is permitted for health reasons, "fasting as an austerity, as a ritual, as a mortification of the body by wilful hunger is forbidden in Sikhism," whether it is Karva Chauth, Ramadhan or any other fast. This approach has been documented in Sikh scripture. The Adi Granth (verse 1136) says, "I do not keep the fast (vrat) nor Ramadan. I serve only the One who will save me in the end." In addition to registering their disagreement, in Guru Granth Sahib, on the religious/spiritual aspects of fasting, they specifically rejected the idea of Karva Chauth: "She who partakes in forsaking grain and doing such a hypocrisy is neither married nor widowed, from AGGS, p873). For strict adherents, the observance of fasts by Sikh women are "outrageous" and "nothing short of blasphemy."
There are legends associated with the Karva Chauth festival. In some tellings, the tales are interlinked, with one acting as a frame story for another.
The Story of Queen Veervati
A beautiful queen called Veervati was the only sister of seven loving brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth as a married woman at her parents' house. She began a strict fast after sunrise but, by evening, was desperately waiting for the moonrise as she suffered severe thirst and hunger. Her seven brothers couldn't bear to see their sister in such distress and created a mirror in a pipal tree that made it look as though the moon had risen. The sister mistook it for the moon and broke her fast. The moment she ate, word arrived that her husband, the king, was dead. Heartbroken, she wept through the night until her shakti compelled a Goddess to appear and ask why she cried. When the queen explained her distress, the Goddess revealed how she had been tricked by her brothers and instructed her to repeat the Karva Chauth fast with complete devotion. When Veervati repeated the fast, Yama was forced to restore her husband to life.
In a variant of this story, the brothers build a massive fire behind a mountain instead and trick their sister by convincing her that the glow is the moon. She breaks her fast and word arrives that her beloved husband has died. She immediately begins running to her husband's house, which is somewhat distant, and is intercepted by Shiv[disambiguation needed]-Parvati. Parvati reveals the trickery to her, cuts her own little finger to give the wife a few drops of her holy blood, and instructs her to be careful in keeping the complete fast in the future. The wife sprinkles Parvati's blood on her dead husband and, coming back to life, they are reunited.
The Legend of Mahabharata
The belief in this fast and its associated rituals goes back to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi, too, is said to have observed this fast. Once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance and the rest of the Pandavas faced many problems in his absence. Draupadi, out of desperation, remembered Lord Krishna and asked for help. Lord Krishna reminded her that on an earlier occasion, when Goddess Parvati had sought Lord Shiva's guidance under similar circumstances, she had been advised to observe the fast of Karva Chauth. In some tellings of this legend, Shiva tells Parvati the story of Veervati to describe the Karva Chauth fast. Draupadi followed the instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals. Consequently, the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems.
The Legend of Karva
A woman named Karva was deeply devoted to her husband. Her intense love and dedication towards him gave her shakti (spiritual power). While bathing at a river, her husband was caught by a crocodile. Karva bound the crocodile with a cotton yarn and asked Yama (the god of death) to send the crocodile to hell. Yama refused. Karva threatened to curse Yama and destroy him. Yama, afraid of being cursed by Pati-vrat (devoted) wife, sent the crocodile to hell and blessed Karva's husband with long life. Karva and her husband enjoyed many years of wedded bliss. To this day, Karva Chauth is celebrated with great faith and belief.
The Story of Satyavan and Savitri
When Lord Yama came to procure Satyavan's soul, Savitri begged him to grant him life. When he refused, she stopped eating and drinking and followed Yama who carried away her dead husband. Yama said that she could ask for any other boon except for the life of her husband. Savitri asked that she be blessed with children. Yama agreed. Being a "'Pati-Vrat (devoted) wife, Savitri would never let any other man be the father of her children. Yama was left with no other choice but to restore Savitri's husband to life.
- Kartar Singh Bhalla, Let's Know Festivals of India, Star Publications, 2005, ISBN 978-81-7650-165-1, "... 'Karva Chauth' is a ritual of fasting observed by married women seeking the longevity, ... married women in the northern and western parts of India, especially, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat ... eat a little food before sunrise and start the fast ... After the moon rises ... finally break their fast ..."
- S. K. Rait, Sikh women in England: their religious and cultural beliefs and social practices, Trentham Books, 2005, ISBN 978-1-85856-353-4, "... Karva chauth, a fast kept to secure the long life of husbands, was popular among Sikh women ..."
- "Hindus mark Karva Chauth in Pakistan". Pakistan Daily. 2008-10-17. "... Hindu women Friday celebrated Karva Chauth in the city. The minority arranges different functions in the city to mark the day where women collectively sighted the moon and broke their fast ..."
- Kumar, Anu (2007-10-21). "A Hungry Heart". The Washington Post.
- Subhashini Aryan, Crafts of Himachal PradeshLiving traditions of India, Mapin, 1993, ISBN 978-0-944142-46-2, "... Karva Chauth, when a fast is universally observed by all married women, a small pot, Karva, is required ..."
- Anne Mackenzie Pearson, Because it gives me peace of mind: ritual fasts in the religious lives of Hindu women (McGill studies in the history of religions), SUNY Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0-7914-3038-5, "... Karva Cauth seems to be in western Uttar Pradesh ..."
- Sohindar Singh Waṇajara Bedi, Folklore of the Punjab, National Book Trust, 1971, "... Sometimes even unmarried girls observe this fast and pray for their husbands-to-be ..."
- Rajendra Kumar Sharma, Rural Sociology, Atlantic Publishers, 2004, ISBN 978-81-7156-671-6, "... small earthen-ware pots called 'deep' being filled with oil and lighted through a wick ..."
- J.P. Mittal, History of Ancient India: From 7300 BC to 4250 BC, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 2006, ISBN 978-81-269-0615-4, "... military campaigns and foreign travels were undertaken after the rainy season ... It is also the season for sowing wheat, which is kept in the Karva (Round Vessel) ..."
- "ਕਰਵਾ ਚੌਥ - ਫਿਲਮੀ ਨਾਮਾਂ ਵਾਲੀਆਂ ਚੂੜੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਕ੍ਰੇਜ (Karva Chauth - The craze for bangles named after movies)", Webdunia Punjabi, Oct 6, 2009, "... ਕਰਵਾ ਚੌਥ ਦੇ ਆਉਂਦੇ ਹੀ ਬਜ਼ਾਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਚਹਿਲ-ਪਹਿਲ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਸੇ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਸਿਲਸਿਲਾ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ ਸਾਜ-ਸ਼ਿੰਗਾਰ ਦਾ ਸਮਾਨ ਖਰੀਦਣ ਦਾ। ਜਿਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਚੂੜੀਆਂ ਇਸਤਰੀਆਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਪਸੰਦੀਦਾ ਹੁੰਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ। ਆਪਣੇ ਸੂਟ ਜਾਂ ਸਾੜੀ ਨਾਲ ਮੈਚ ਕਰਦੀਆਂ ਚੂੜੀਆਂ ਲਈ ਬਜ਼ਾਰ 'ਚ ਪਤਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਿੰਨੇ ਗੇੜੇ ਮਾਰਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ। (The coming of Karva Chauth gets the bazaars humming with activity. And so begins the process of buying cosmetics and ornaments. Of all things, bangles are the perennial favorites with women. They do endless circuits of the bazaar looking for the perfect color match with their saris and shalwar suits) ..."
- Naomi Jackson, Toni Shapiro-Phim, Dance, Human Rights, and Social Justice: Dignity in Motion, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8108-6149-7, "... several Indian feminists have talked about the ways in which Indian, specifically Hindu, women have found it empowering to hold onto religious practices ... the Karvachauth ... meant that she had a day off once a year and a new sari at the end of it ..."
- Publications Division, Indian and foreign review, Volume 23, Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1985, "... the typically North Indian festival of Karva Chauth when wives fast for the longevity of their husbands. On this day a woman relives her wedding day. Dressed in her wedding clothes, with hands and feet ritually decorated with Mehndi ..."
- Robert Jackson, Eleanor M. Nesbitt, Hindu children in Britain, Trentham, 1993, ISBN 978-0-948080-73-9, "... this day, which falls about eleven days before the all-India festival of Divali, wives dress up in bridal colours (red and gold) ..."
- A.H.W. Sameer, Hindu Vrat Kathayen, Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd., 2003, ISBN 978-81-288-0375-8, "... The women tell among themselves the story of Karva Chauth on this day. Sometimes a Brahmin priest tells this story and gets a gift in return ... The married women receive costly gifts from their husbands, brothers and parents on this ..."
- Madhusree Dutta, Neera Adarkar, Majlis Organization (Bombay), The nation, the state, and Indian identity, Popular Prakashan, 1996, ISBN 978-81-85604-09-1, "... originally was practised by women in Punjab and parts of UP, is gaining tremendous popularity ... We found women of all classes and regional communities ... all said they too were observing the Karva Chauth Vrat for their husbands' longevity. All of them had dekha-dekhi (in imitation) followed a trend which made them feel special on this one day. Husbands paid them undivided attention and showered them with gifts. The women from the bastis go to beauty parlours to have their hair set and hands decorated with mehendi ... As an instrument of social control, rituals work insiduously. Deeply ingrained in the consciousness of Hindu women, reinforced by modern forms, we do not know which is the greater barrier to women's liberation: religion or the market ..."
- Rama Bijapurkar, Winning in the Indian Market: Understanding the Transformation of Consumer India, John Wiley and Sons, 2007, ISBN 978-0-470-82199-2, "... Karva Chauth is a romantic old north Indian ritual, where the wife fasts all day for the well‐being of her husband, then when the moon rises, she looks at the moon and her husband's face and he feeds her the first morsel of food that ..."
- Veena Das, Dipankar Gupta, Patricia Uberoi, Tradition, pluralism and identity, Sage Publications, 1999, ISBN 978-0-7619-9381-0, "... breaking the Karva Chauth fast with Raj. and she realises that this must be the boy that Simran had fallen in love with ..."
- India today, Volume 30, Thomson Living Media India Ltd., 2005, "... rattling of empty steel thalis to ensure the famished wife at the other end eats her Karva chauth meal as in Baghban ..."
- India today international, Living Media International Ltd., 2006, "... courtship, misunderstanding, reconciliation, wedding, Karva chauth, pregnancy ..."
- Rehana Bastiwala (Oct 27, 2008), "کروا چوتھ (Bollywood Diary: Karva Chauth)", BBC, "... امیشا نے بھی اپنے قریبی دوست کانو پوری کے لیے برت رکھا۔ دلچسپ بات تو یہ ہے کہ امیشا کا یہ برت کانو نے پانی پلا کر نہیں بلکہ شیمپئین پلا کر کھلوایا۔ انہوں نے امیشا کو ہیرے جڑی ایک گھڑی بھی تحفے میں دی (Amisha Patel also kept a fast for her close friend, Kanav Puri. In an interesting twist, Kanav helped Amisha break her fast not with water, but with a sip of champagne. He also gifted Amisha a diamond-studded watch) ..."
- Advaita Kala, Almost Single, Random House, 2009, ISBN 978-0-553-38610-3, "... New Year's Eve is the most pathetic time to be single, apart from Karva Chauth and Valentine's Day ..."
- Rajan Saxena, Marketing Management, Tata McGraw-Hill, 2005, ISBN 978-0-07-059953-6, "... Taking the situation of a wife waiting for the moon to appear on Karva Chauth night ... until she is able to sight the moon from the car's sunroof ... The marketer was able to successfully communicate a feature of the car by using "love and care" as emotions ..."
- Naynika Mehra (Oct 7, 2009), "करवा चौथ का श्रृंगार (Beauty treatments for Karva Chauth)", Webdunia Hindi, "... सुंदर और आकर्षक कपड़ों-गहनों के साथ ही श्रृंगार का भी उत्सवों पर एक अलग ही आनंद आ जाता है। उस पर भी यदि बात करवा चौथ जैसे त्योहार की हो तो बनने-सँवरने का उत्साह चरम पर पहुँच जाता है। हर महिला इस दिन कुछ अलग दिखना चाहती है। आइए हम देते हैं कुछ टिप्स इस करवा चौथ पर ताकि आप दिखें सबसे खास। (Beautiful and attractive jewelry and clothes, along with make-up, are so enjoyable on festivals. On top of that if it's a festival like Karva Chauth, the zest to beautify oneself reaches its zenith. Any woman wants to look striking on this day. Come, let us share some tips, so you can look the most special of them all ..."
- "कुंआरी लड़कियां भी रख रही हैं करवाचौथ व्रत (Unmarried women are also keeping the Karva Chauth fast)", IBN Live, Oct 6, 2009, "... 'मुझे करवाचौथ का व्रत रखना बहुत पसंद है। मेरी सहेलियां भी व्रत रखती हैं इसलिए मैं भी व्रत रखती हूं ताकि मुझे ऐसा वर मिले जो मेरे साथ कदम से कदम मिलाकर चले।' ... धीरे-धीरे ये चलन बड़े शहरों में भी देखने को मिल रहा है। आखिर कौन नहीं चाहेगा कि उसे बेहद प्यार करने वाला जीवनसाथी मिले। ('I really like keeping the Karva Chauth fast. My friends fast, so I do as well, so I get a partner who walks side by side with me through life' ... gradually this practice is becoming prevalent in larger cities. After all, who wouldn't want a life-partner who loves them intensely ..."
- Margaret Khalakdina, Human development in the Indian context: a socio-cultural focus, SAGE Publications, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7619-3610-7, "... Among all strata, irrespective of education, occupation or income, Karva chauth vrath (fasting by wives for the welfare and longevity of the husbands, indicating a sexist bias) is practised ..."
- Community Projects Administration, Kurukshetra, Volume 38, Ministry of Community Development and Cooperation, Government of India, "... weed out anti-women and sexist contents from all those media ... We should modify old festivals like Karva Chauth, Raksha Bandhan, which perpetuate the notion of women's dependence on men ..."
- Madhu Kishwar, Off the beaten track: rethinking gender justice for Indian women, Oxford University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-19-564816-4, "... The home-bred elite can easily bring with it repressive Karva chauth culture and khomeinivad for women ..."
- Gobind Singh Mansukhani, Introduction to Sikhism: 125 basic questions and answers on Sikh religion and history, Hemkunt Press, 1998, ISBN 978-81-7010-181-9, "... God has given us the human body - the temple of the soul - which has to be nourished and card for. Fasting as an austerity, as a ritual, as a mortification of the body by wilful hunger is forbidden in Sikhism ... Sikhism does not consider pilgrimage as an act of spiritual merit ..."
- Guru Granth Sahib, p1025
- Guru Granth Sahib, p324
- Guru Granth Sahib, p905
- Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Who are the Sikhs?, Sikh Educational Trust, 2000, "... observe fast eg Karva Chauth, Ramzan etc. (fasting otherwise for health reasons is not prohibited) ..."
- William Owen Cole, Piara Singh Sambhi, The Sikhs: their religious beliefs and practices, Sussex Academic Press, 1995, ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4, "... Also the emergence of a distinctive culture has been the result: 'I do not keep the fast (vrat) nor Ramadan. I serve only the One who will save me in the end' ... AG 1136 ..."
- Guru Granth Sahib, p873
- Sikh Cultural Centre, Calcutta, The Sikh review, Volume 49, Issues 565-576, Sikh Cultural Centre., 2001, "... The observance by Sikh women of Karva Chauth for them was an outrage on their faith ... nothing short of blasphemy ..."
- S.P. Sharma, Seema Gupta, Fairs and Festivals of India, Pustak Mahal, 2007, ISBN 978-81-223-0951-5, "... The only sister of seven loving brothers, she was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents' house. After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, Veeravati couldn't ..."
- Selva J. Raj, William P. Harman, Dealing With Deities: The Ritual Vow in South Asia, SUNY Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7914-6708-4, "... Krishna recounting to Draupadi a story that he had heard Shiva tell Parvati. The core of the tale involves a human woman, Virvati ..."
- Colleen Yim, Veiled gurus: a Hindu mother's experiential involvement in religious knowledge transmission, University Press of America, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7618-3775-6, "... Yamraj told Karva that the crocodile still had to live few more years ... Karva told him ... she would destroy him by putting a curse on him. Yamraj got scared ..."
- BBC pictorial feature on women getting henna applied and shopping for Karva Chauth
- Karva Chauth Katha in hindi
- Website exclusively on Karva Chauth
- Origin of Karva Chauth