by Rita Banerji
Today all over India, married Hindu women merrily starve themselves of food and water, from sunrise to sunset, to ensure that the gods will give their husbands a long and healthy life. At sun-down the women view the moon through a kitchen sieve before they break their fast. This is the festival of Karva Chauth.
And here’s the reason behind this festival in a nutshell:
A married woman is called Sumangala [The fortunate one; the bringer of good luck].
A widow is called Amangala [the unfortunate one; the bringer of bad luck].
In fact the widow is considered such bad luck that she’s shunned from wedding and other ceremonies, barred from certain temples and places, just in case her ‘bad luck’ rubs off on other people. Till a few years ago, the families would just do away with this ‘bad luck’ by burning her…
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