From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Caturthikarman literally means ‘the rite on the fourth day’.
The society has always considered vivāha or marriage as sacred nuptial. The rites which are performed in the marriage ceremony breathe this spirit.
In one such rite of marriage ceremony, the husband and the wife were expected to observe continence for three nights though sleeping together on the ground with a daṇḍa or staff between them. This was called ‘trirātravrata’ (‘the vow of three nights’).
The marriage was consummated on the fourth day. Hence this day is called as caturthīkarman. The smṛtis consider this as a part of the rites of marriage.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore