Karwa Chauth got its name from two words 'Karwa' and 'Chauth' in which former means earthen oil lamp and later means four. Karwa Chauth is a ritual signifying the relationship between bride and a woman in her- in laws. After marriage, bride looks for a woman friend in her in laws house to share her emotions and problems. Generally their friendship is solemnized in the marriage ceremony and later they are considered as sisters. During early days, in North West region of India, when it generally used to be a dry season; husbands go to long journeys in search of work and food and wife used fast for whole day and pray for their well being. From then it became a ritual.
Once there was a Queen Veervati, one sister for seven brothers. Queen Veervati spent her first Karva Chauth as a married woman at her parents' house. She began fast after sunrise and desperately needed water before moonrise. By seeing this, her brothers made a reflection of moon with help of mirror. As soon as she drank water, her husband died. She was heartbroken and cried until she got shatki. When she repeated the fast, her husband came to life.
Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day of Kartik month in Hindu calendar. It is mainly celebrated by the women of north India and north western India.
On Karwa Chauth day women go for fast from sunrise to moonrise for the welfare of their husbands. Punjabi women wake up early and eat before the sun rise. Generally they eat sargi which includes fenia. Uttar Pradesh women eat fenia with milk and sugar on festival eve day. This will help them to stay without water in the next day. Women apply henna and cosmetics on that day and don’t do any household work. In some places it is customary to exchange clay pots with gifts. Parents send gifts to their married daughters and their children. In the evening, women-only ceremony is held. An elderly women or a priest explains the stories of Karwa Chauth.