Vandana and Dhananjay Datar

The vibrant buzz and excitement in the Al Adil household has been palalpable since the start of this month, what with this being the month of festivities that include Dussehra, Karva Chauth and Diwali. Even as the rituals and celebrations of Dussehra were over, the family began preparing for Karva Chauth. A one-day festival, it is celebrated by married Hindu women who observe a fast from sunrise to moonrise during which they pray for the well-being and longevity of their spouse and family. This year Karva Chauth falls on October 13 and 14.

Akanksha and Hrishikesh Datar
Akanksha and Hrishikesh Datar Image Credit: Supplied

Vandana Datar and Akanksha Hrishikesh Datar, Directors of Al Adil Trading Co., share their thoughts on the upcoming festival of Karva Chauth. While Vandana Datar offers an insight into how she celebrated the festival, Akanksha reveals how they are preparing for it, including what the Al Adil stores have on offer.

Excerpts from an interview:

How do you feel with the festival of Karva Chauth approaching?

There is a lot of excitement in the air as we know the festive season has begun. Like any auspicious beginnings and festivals, there is a sense of heartfelt gratitude for our family’s health, happiness and well being.

What are the rituals you observe before and on the day of Karva Chauth?

The day before, the women of our family adorn mehendi and make sure to hydrate and eat well in preparation for the fast they will be observing. Our red saris, bangles and jewellery are laid out for the festivities of the next day. Sweets and traditional foods are prepared for the prayers to be held in the evening along with the ritual of ending the fast.

How long have you been observing Karva Chauth?

Vandana Datar: I have been celebrating Karva Chauth for the last 20 years. This would be my daughter-in-law Akanksha’s first Karva Chauth and hence, very special.

Can you share your memories of the first time you observed Karva Chauth?

Vandana Datar: The first time was very special for me. We celebrated it at the Indian Sports Club and the event there was sponsored by Al Adil. Coming from a Maharashtrian family, I had not witnessed the festival of Karva Chauth a lot before I got married. But when I moved to Dubai, I saw married women of all communities and ages gather around and celebrate the festival together. I have been celebrating the festival ever since. At Al Adil, we love celebrating all festivals and cultures.

What were the rituals you performed?

Vandana Datar: In the evenings, the women gathered around in a circle, sang and danced till the moon was visible. As the moon rose, the women performed a small pooja for their husbands, and looked at the moon through a sieve before looking at their husband’s face. The husband then helps his wife have a sip of water and feeds her a sweet, to end her fast. I followed all these rituals.

Do you think the way rituals are observed has changed over the years?

Vandana Datar: The basics of the rituals have remained the same throughout the years. I guess that is the beauty of our culture with traditions being passed on from generation to generation. However, I have noticed that the celebrations lately incorporate a more glamorous side with events happening on larger scales, even commercially.

What preparations have the Al Adil stores taken for this festival?

Al Adil has a wide range of festive items for Karva Chauth including Karva Chauth kits, chunnis, pooja items and attractive offers on food items as well. Those who are preparing to celebrate the festival will find all their required items available at the Al Adil stores across the UAE.