CHHATH PUJA

Today, on the occasion of Chhath Puja we will know about it and also its significance in India.

Chhath is the Hindu festival which is celebrated in many parts of India like Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh etc. This festival is celebrated after 6 days of Diwali. Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili, Magahi people celebrate this festival by worshiping God Sun and Sahasthi (Chhath Maiya) and thanking them for giving this precious life to us and for fulfilling our wishes. Other than Indians, Nepalies also celebrate this festival. This festival imparts health, wealth and prosperity to us. Devotees belonging to any of the cast, colour, economy or status arrives near ponds and river bank for praying. According to environmentalists Chhath is considered as one of the most eco-friendly festival as it conveys the message of nature conservation. It has now gained lots of importance like other festivals of India (Holi, Diwali, Eid etc.). One of the members of family has to perform this Puja. Some people also celebrate this Puja at their homes only as they are unable to go to river banks.   

HISTORY: According to Indian epic, Chhath Puja was firstly celebrated in Ramayana. When Lord Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya people celebrated Diwali and just 6 days later of Ram Rajaya was established. So, on this occasion Lord Rama and Sita kept fast that day. Sita worshiped Suraya and goddess Sahasthi and as result they were blessed with their children Luv and Kush. In Mahabharat too, when Pandavas returned from Lakshagirh, Kunti worshiped Suraya and Sahasthi (Chhathi Maiya). Therse are many other incidents related to the celebration of this puja in history. These incidents prove that Chhath Puja has lot of significance since antient times.

People celebrate this festival for 4 days. This year puja is starting from19 to 21 November. People celebrate this puja by offering prasad which contains many ingredients to Goddess Sahasthi and Suraya.

Ingredients that are required for puja are Thekua, fruits, vegetables, bamboo, sweets, paan, honey, turmeric, camphor, rice, kheer-puri, malpua, coconut, sugarcane, sweet potato, milk, plate etc.   

Four days of Chhath Puja are:    

  • Nahay Khay: It is considered as the first day of Chhath Puja. On this day people clean their homes after taking bath and eat vegetarian food like kheer-roti or any other item.
  • Kharna: It is considered as the second day of puja. People keep fast till evening; they are even not allowed to drink a drop of a water. Then at evening they break their fasts by eating some fruits, kheer, chapati and other food items.
  • Sandhya Arghya: On the third day of puja Arghya is offered to Surya and Sahasthi. People decorate a bamboo basket with different types of ingredients like fruits, thekua etc. After worshiping people sing songs and Vrat katha related to Chhath Puja.
  • Usha Arghya: This is the fourth and the last day for puja. On this day people offer Arghya to Surya and Sahasthi. Devotes go near river banks and offer araghya at the time of sunrise. Lastly, devotes drink sharbat and eat Prasad to break their fasts.

During these all four days the devotees have to stay very clean and hygienic. Especially the person who will perform puja have to follow stick rules and regulations. He/she have to be very hygienic throughout the whole puja. The area at home where puja has to performed needs to be very clean and hygienic and should be treated like temple.     

In Delhi, U.P, Maharashtra and other parts of India the ponds and river banks are closed by the government due to covid-19. People have to follow certain guidelines this year which are issued by the government of different areas of India. In some areas like Bihar and Jharkhand people are appealed for doing puja at their homes only.

People are still celebrating this festival with full enthusiasm even in this pandemic but by following rules and regulations. And worshiping goddess Sahasthi (Chhath Maiya) and Suraya.

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