New Delhi: There’s no doubt that Bollywood, in all its glamour and grandeur, has popularised Karwa Chauth, which was a ritual mostly observed by married women in north India. Despite debates over how regressive the idea is to keep women on fast for the wellbeing of their husbands, this ritual has adopted the form of a festival across India. And of course, thanks to Bollywood for romanticising fasting, moon-watching etc.. etc.

This year, Karwa Chauth date is October 17. The mahurat starts at 5.46pm and ends at 7.02pm.

Here are some cool facts about the ritual:

1. What does Karwa Chauth mean?

Karva (Alternately Karwa) means a small earthen pot of water and chauth refers to the fourth day of the dark fortnight. But there is another story of Karva, a woman who was deeply devoted to her husband. Once her husband was attacked by a crocodile, Karva bound the crocodile with cotton yarn. It is believed that Yama, afraid of Karva’s devotedness, sent the crocodile to hell and blessed the couple with many years of wedded bliss.

2. Did Draupadi, too, observe this fast?

It is believed that once Draupadi remembered Lord Krishna when Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance. The rest of the Pandavas, too, were facing many difficulties. Krishna asked her to observe Karwa Chauth fast, which eventually helped Pandavas come out of their misfortune.

3. A harvest festival?
The festival coincides with the beginning of the Rabi crop cycle. So, it is believed that this festival is also a form of prayer for a good harvest.

4. Satyavan-Savitri

There is a Karwa Chauth twist in the story of Satyavan and Savitri. It is believed when Yama came for Satyavan, Savitri begged for his life. Yama refused and Savitri stopped eating and drinking. Yama said that she could ask for any other boon except for the life of her husband. Savitri being quick-witted asked for children, which was not possible without Satyavan. So, Yama was left with no other choice but to restore Savitri’s husband to life.

5. What’s Sargi?

It is the pre-dawn meal which comes from the mother-in-law before the daughter-in-law starts her fasting. It contains cooked food, dry fruits, sweets, diya, matri, dahi etc.