Karavachauth is a Hindu festival that celebrates love, much akin to Valentines Day. On this festival women (these days many non Hindu women also celebrate this thanks to movies based on Hindi Language cinema) choose to fast without food or water for their husband’s long life and consequently their marriage. Those of you who are new to the concept might think,”Why?” with many a cynical thoughts flying around your head. The most urgent question being, “Are you going to stay hungry all day long?”
How this festival is celebrated is the women wake up before the sun rises and has a decent breakfast before her fasting day starts. The fast ends with the sighting of the bright moon with the ladies praying to their husbands and the moon wishing for a long life for their husband so they can share their loving bond for a very long time. Women apply henna on their hands the night before or the day of and dress up like brides.
Fasting hard is not mandatory. Many women these days sip on their preferred flavored water or have tea and fruit after the “puja” (prayer) is over. The prayer involves all the women fasting sitting in a circle, listening to the telling of the story of Karva which is how this festival began. The celebration is described in detail here on Wikihow with pictures and the traditions more elaborately explained here.
I have no real scientific explanation for the celebration of this process. My own husband often times teases me and offers me ways out of fasting. These days many scoff at this custom but the truth is when you do a simple sacrifice like this for the sake of your relationship, dress up and in a way celebrate your relationship you feel aglow by the love you share with your husband. These days with many women living far from their immediate families, it is a wonderful way to make the extra effort to make your bond stronger, make yourself and your husband feel special
Many celebrations are more a matter of heart than hard logic or tradition.
For many years, I have celebrated this festival with friends who do not fast themselves but respect the fact that I do so and enjoy the simple feeling of love along with me. We have laughed, enjoyed chasing the moon in our cars (most years it has risen earlier far from home) and relished the joy of sharing a meal together after. Celebrating together even when we do not ideally believe in the same concept brings us all together in a special way. Many a times those same people have delayed their dinners to share the joy of breaking my fast with me. That in itself is greatly appreciated.
Now what do you couples do, during the many hours after all your chores are done on Karvachauth and you are dressed up and waiting for the pretty white moon to show up and shine upon you? Here are a set of games I have come up with to pass the time. Let’s face it. Distracted minds think less about rumbling tummies!
The Cheesy Questionnaire
Cmon! Admit it. You secretly love these. The flailing as you each try to get the answer right is always hilarious and it is often times touching to know that your spouse remembered that silly thing you did together all those years ago. You would need to make this list ahead of time. And give each pair the sheets and after a given set of time answering, you compare the list. Now since we want family friendly activities I would suggest the questions NEVER be ones that would embarrass either of the couple and definitely not weird like “What date did we first have dinner in ___ restaurant?”. You want to share smiles not cause embarrassment.
Below is a sample of 20 questions that I have made for our coming Karavachauth.
- Name the first gifts exchanged.
- Name three happiest moments in their life?
- What is your spouse’s dream vacation?
- Who is your spouse’s idol?
- Which is your spouses’ favorite book or movie?
- On an island, what three things would your spouse want?
- On the same island, which three people would they love to have?
- Name three of your spouse’s favorite things.
- What is your partner’s phobia?
- Who is more adventurous?
- How long did you date before getting married?
- What is their favorite restaurant?
- What is their favorite vacation that you have taken together?
- Who is more of a perfectionist?
- What is your spouse’s dream job?
- On your honeymoon which was the favorite place you visited?
- Name two things that went wrong on your wedding day.
- How many times have your moved homes?
- Who changed diapers more?
- Who put the kids to sleep more
Bonus question to get a few awes : What is a favorite memory of you two together, that you cherish?
Celebrity Dumb Charades
This is a twist on the classic game. You divide yourselves into teams or couples. Then you all write down names of famous couples, dead or alive, together or divorced and act them out. You act out the couple you end up choosing. The team that gets the most right wins.
Bangles are a staple on this special day and go wonderfully with the theme. In this game you blind fold both partners and the husband tries to put on as many bangles on the wife’s hand as possible.
Wedding Ring Mix Up
Everyone takes off their wedding rings and adds them to a bowl. Blindfolded partners try to find their or their partners wedding ring. If they do, they win.
Name The Essentials
This is for the husbands. They have to name all the items that are essential on this festival. Whoever gets all or most of the items right, wins.
In this game, the player has to try to lift up as many bangles as they can with only one hand in one minute.
Laugh Out Loud
This would be a great game for fasting women as they try to keep a straight face, while their respective husbands try to make them laugh.
Talk Fast or Lose
This is a great timer game that’s a take on the Ellen Degeneres game 5 Second Rule. This also could be played with teams or partners against each other. A strict time keeper is necessary for this one. You ask the participant 3 things to name in 5 seconds. Sample questions for these would be.
- Name three things you wake up to do.
- Name three things your kids love doing.
- Name three things your spouse loves to eat.
- Name three places you have visited together.
- Name three places you visited together before getting married.
- Name three habits that your partner hates.
- Name three foods that your kids eat.
- Name three things couples do.
Most of the above would also make great games for any couples’ or valentines’ party. Here’s wishing all couple’s who celebrate their love, find more and more reasons to do so every single day they are together. Are there any more couple’s games that you can think of to play?