Karwa Chauth is here. And this is the time when one of the most underrated kitchen tools rises to prominence. Any guesses? It's the channi or sieve. After day-long nirjala vrat, or abstaining from food and water, the married women break their fasting by glancing at the moon through a sieve. But are you aware of why a sieve is used to see the moon on this day? Why do Hindu married women look at the moon through a channi on Karwa Chauth? Let's explore.

When the moon appears, the married Hindu woman places a lamp in a sieve, lights it up, looks at the moon, and then at her husband's face. The lamp's light is said to chase away all evil eyes by doing this, according to another popular belief. A few also claim that the relationship between a husband and wife reinforces when the lamp's holy light touches the partner's face.

The Bhavishya Purana forbids people from viewing the moon on Chauth. Directly watching the moon on Chauth can lead to false accusations or indicate that a false claim can be made. As the name implies, this festival takes place on the fourth day (Chauth) of the Hindu lunisolar month of Kartik. This explains why the moon is seen using a sieve rather than directly glaring at it on this particular day.

Karwa Chauth Channi, Image Source: punjabkesari

There goes another narrative. A moneylender supposedly had a daughter and seven sons. The daughter fasted for her husband's long life on Karwa Chauth. The hunger, though, was too much for her to handle. Her brothers pleaded with her to eat. She, however, declined. Her health was deteriorating gradually, and it was becoming intolerable for the brothers. They kindled a fire from a distance and showed her a fake moon. By assuming it to be real, she broke her fast. Tragically, her spouse died because she broke the fast without sighting the actual moon. According to legend, the custom of breaking the Karwa Chauth fast began when someone holding a sieve looked at the moon. It ensured that no one could break the fast by deception.

Now you have reasons to admire the humble channi even more.