Karwa Chauth is a festival that Hindu women give lot of importance. Though names, customs and traditions that are followed by in various regions vary, the basic aim behind the festival remains the same. Fasting is an important part of the festival and married women keep fasting for the well being of their husbands. Many legends and stories are associated with Karwa Chauth.
Karwa Chauth was also mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. It is believed that Draupadi also used to observe this fast for the sake of her husband. Once Pandavas were facing many problems and Draupadi asked Krishna to help them come out of their problems. Krishna says that once when Parvati was also in such circumstances she sought the advice of Lord Shiva and observed fast of Karwa Chauth. Draupadi also observed the fast by following all rituals and customs. Pandavas could overcome all their problems.
Another legend associated with Karwa Chauth is that of Satyavan and Savitri. When Lord Yama takes away the life of Satyavan, Savitri begs Lord Yama to leave her husband. Yama does not agree. Savitri stubbornly follows Yama without eating and drinking anything. Finally Yama spares the life of Satyavan and blesses Savitri. From that day onwards Karwa Chauth has been observed by women with great devotion.
Karwa was a devoted wife. Once her husband was taking bath in a river. Suddenly a crocodile comes and catches him. Karwa ties the crocodile with cotton yarn. She goes to Lord Yama asking him to send the crocodile to hell. She says she will curse him if he refused to send the crocodile to hell. Yama was afraid of the power of a devoted wife and sends the crocodile to hell. He blesses the husband of Karwa with long life.