I personally like what the ‘Greeting Cards’ people in India are calling ‘Karva Chauth Day’. They are calling it the ‘Husband’s Day’
What about the wife’s day, you might ask?
It is heartening to know that Hindus have always believed in worshipping the Male and Female aspect of God together. And that Sri Ram was a staunch Pati-Vrat (devoted) husband.
Not only that, one says Seeta Ram and Radha Krishna.
As you can see the female name gets precedence.
Karwa Chauth Day falls on the dark (Krishna) Chaturthi of the month of Ashwin after Sharad Purnima. I also read somewhere that it falls on the 4th day of the new moon after Dussehra.
On this day it is customary for the wife to fast the whole day. She does not drink water either. She paints her hands and feet with henna, dresses generally in red apparel and on her hair parting she smears vermilion powder. All the above is the ‘Shringar’ of a bride.
A lady called Veeravati broke her fast and her husband died. She preserved the body of her husband and he came back to life the next Karva Chauth.
It is believed that a Pati-Vrat woman has the power to confront the God of Death, Yama.
This Karva Chauth fast is undertaken by the wife, so that the husband enjoys a long and prosperous life.
The story of Karva is well known. Her husband was caught by a crocodile. Karva bound the crocodile with a cotton yarn. She then asked Yama to send the crocodile to hell. Yama refused. Karva threatened to curse Yama. Yama, afraid of being cursed by Pati-vrat (devoted) wife, sent the crocodile to hell. Karva and her husband enjoyed many years of wedded bliss.
The fact that Yama was afraid of being cursed by a devoted wife showed the power a good faithful woman!
Maybe you have heard the story of Savitri. The latter 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 wife, Savitri would never any other man, be the father of her children. Yama was left with no other choice but to restore Savitri’s husband to life.
In the olden days, a woman was dependant on a man. Whether he was her father, brother, husband or Guru. Without a man she was considered incomplete. Today that may not be the case. But it is still refreshing to see a loving wife…or a loving husband for that matter…so personally I do not have a problem observing ‘husband’s day’ as long as a woman is also worshipped on other days…and I must admit that the Hindu calendar is full of them.