My First Karwa Chauth

My day started at 6:45 with breakfast in bed from my husband!

I don’t have a lot of family around to be part of the day with me, but Brad was happy to be supportive (particularly after reading the story of the woman who was tricked by seeing a false moon and her husband died because of it! I’m probably not going to run into Shiva on the road to ask for his resurrection).

Brad also brought me a nice tall glass of water to hopefully see me through the day.

I had to work, so I wasn’t able to relax and focus on the holiday. I wore a nice salwar suit and some jewelry (including my allergy-inducing chura), but didn’t go all out yet.

I thought it would be hard not to graze on chips at work, but the chips are in the back of the office and I’m at the front. I’ve been eating a lot less lately in general, usually eating only three pieces of fruit and a granola bar during work hours. I felt a little hunger, but nothing too challenging.

I was also fine with the lack of water. My mouth felt a bit sticky by the end of the day, but I wasn’t suffering. (There are those who believe that I have chronic dehydration! Though I only drink water, I don’t really drink enough of it in general).

My cousin, the other Hindu in my family, called and we talked about what the fast is like and how it’s different in India being with your whole family around you.

In the evening I got dressed up in a nice sari (my wedding lengha is still in Massachusetts with my parents. I forgot that I was going to want it this soon again!) I prepared my thali and I played the karva chauth story in Hindi on my ipod.

We had looked up what time moonrise was and it was supposed to be 8:59 pm.  Brad went out to Kabob Hut and picked up some dinner and galub jamon for us. We brought the bags outside along with some shawls for a picnic blanket and my thali. We got outside around 8:15 and waited, talking in the cold night air.

At 9:00 it wasn’t possible to see the moon as there were some trees and houses in the way. We anxiously waited for it. I realized that usually you see the moon and it’s lovely, but you don’t think a lot about it. I’ve never felt so excited to see the moon!

Finally Brad spotted it through the trees, large and orange. We gathered up my tray and chanted the chant, turned in a circle, and flicked water towards it five times. Then I picked up a tea strainer and looked at the moon through it, then turned it to Brad’s face. I knelt down and touched Brad’s feet and then he fed me a piece of galub jamon.

We went back to our picnic blanket and ate our food.

It was a wonderful experience and I’m really pleased with my first karwa chauth. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be!

In future years I’ll have to see if I can find some friends to do this with me! It would be nice to have a group of girls together for it.

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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Sharmaine

    Hi. I am so glad that your fast went so well. I will be doing my fist fast this year so I have been doing alot of researching as I do not want to do the wrong thing… I live in South Africa and I dont know of anyone here that does this fast so I am on my own… I thought you may find something that I found interesting as it is how the fast actually started. Years ago, after a woman’s husband dies she would then become a burden to the family so they used to actually burn her on her husbands pyre when they were cremating him. This fast actually began then. The woman had started to pray for their husbands long lives. In recent years though we obviously do not burn widows with their husbands anymore but woman do the fast anyway, not only for the long life of their husband but for their health, wealth and prosperity in general..
    I thought you may like to know that (“,)

  • cvb

    Why do u guys convert to Hinduism. Christians feel their religion in problem and they will target poor hindus to convert christiantiy …But i am not against Christianity but I am against …forced conversion using financial or teaching your religion is demons and you are evil people …

    • Madhu K Agnihotri

      moron she is proud Hindu !! and moreover, she is learned Hindu unlike, fake ones like you useless to society…perverting religions study the scriptures else stop judging somebody’s neither know about Christianity nor Hinduism… so keep ur comments to urself

      • Ambaa

        Thanks for the support but I’m a little confused what cvb is saying. I too am against any kind of forced conversion. I think we should all be free to choose the path to God that works best for us, though I’ll admit I’m biased and it’s hard for me to believe that Hinduism isn’t always the best path for everyone!

        • Madhu K Agnihotri

          Hinduism is besst for intellectuals to tackle answer other intellectuals who might go outside dharma and bring tyranny upon other beings incuding animals plants people othr religions cultures mislead traditions upon anything going against Dharma karma we guide future looking past and present knowledge of humans without altering conclusion of scriptures

    • Ambaa

      Thank you for that link. I am a fan of Philip Goldberg and he is spot on!