We would try to keep aside all myths and glamour added to Karwa Chauth rituals mainly by cinema and TV shows. However we recognize and give cinema the due credit to make the day of Karwa Chauth so popular not only in India but also among all Indians across the globe.
Our religious books including Dharamasindhu, Nirnayasindhu and Vratraj mention Karwa Chauth as Karak Chaturthi. Both Karak and Karwa refer to small pitcher which is used during Puja and given as charity or Dan for the wellbeing of the family. It is mentioned that only women have the right to perform fasting on Karwa Chauth. The fasting on Karwa Chauth is done not only for well- being and long life of the husband but also for the sons, grandsons, wealth and everlasting prosperity of the family.
Karwa Chauth coincides with Sankashti Chaturthi a fasting day observed for Lord Ganesha. However on the day of Karwa Chauth Lord Shiva and His family including Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya are worshipped. Goddess Parvati being Akhand Saubhagyavati is worshipped first during the Puja followed by Lord Shiva, Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha. Women also worship Goddess Gaura and Chauth Mata who represent Goddess Parvati itself on the day of Karwa Chauth.
On the day of fasting, after taking morning bath women should take the pledge, which is called Sankalp, to keep the fast for the wellbeing of the husband and the family. It is also recited during Sankalp that the fasting would be without any food or the water and the fast would be broken after sighting the moon. The Mantra to chant while taking the pledge –
मम सुखसौभाग्य पुत्रपौत्रादि सुस्थिर श्री प्राप्तये करक चतुर्थी व्रतमहं करिष्ये।