Four days long Chhat Puja – A festival to thank nature for sustaining life begins today

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Chhath Puja is an important festival of Bihar, is celebrated all over the world nowadays. In many other states of India government make special arrangements for devotees. Also people from Bihar living abroad celebrate Chhath there in same manner as it is done here.

Chhath Puja is basically dedicated to the nature; all rituals and ingredients required for worship are connected to the nature. Mainly devotees dedicate all worship to Sun god and water because its simple theory of nature nothing will sustain on the earth without Sun and water. The puja is mainly performed by married women for wellbeing of son, daughter and other family members.

Chhath puja spans over four days. The worship starts with Nahaa Khaa – on the first day of wherein devotees take a dip in water, preferably in river or canal and take holy water with them for performing other rituals and offering at home.

Kharna which is the second day and devotees keep fast for whole day and break their fast in the evening after worship of sunset and offering the home made prasad (Kheer, puri) to the Sun and eat the same Prasad at the end of the worship and start main vrat (fasting) of 36 our without a drop of water.

Sandhya Arghya (evening offering) is the most important day of the four days Chhath Puja. It starts with preparing prasad by devotee who have the fast. In the evening on the same day all family member, friends along with devotees go to the Ghat to perform the worship of sunset. Devotees offer the araghya including all self-made ‘prasad’ and natural ‘prasad’ like fruit, vegetables, milk to the setting sun by standing in waist level water. At the end of the evening puja everyone returns home except some devotees family who have some mannat to stay till parana.

Usha Arghya (morning offering) and Parana is held on the last day of the four days chhath puja. In the early morning again all family members, friends along with devotees go to the Ghat to perform the worship of rising sun. Again devotees make offerings including all self-made prasad and natural prasad like fruit, vegetables, milk to the rising sun by standing half body in the water. After end of the morning arghya devotee break their 36 hour long dedicated fast with warm water or tea.

Chhat puja is an important festival which does not require any priest to perform the rituals, all rituals are performed by the devotees themselves.

“Chhath Puja for me is the festival of unquestioned belief and immense power, the festival which keeps me grounded to my roots, culture and beliefs, the festival whose joy knows no bounds four days of immense pleasure and real containment”, said senior software engineer Samridhi Shrivastava.

Another techie Abhishek Kumar informed, “Chhath Puja is not just a festival, it’s a carnival of joy and love blended with devotion and holiness that brings families and friends together. It is indeed the time when the family bonds and feels rooted more than ever. A beautiful feeling which stands out is the kheer and the thekua that people across the country enjoy the best. Chhath Puja isn’t merely a festival, it is life for me!”

IT professional Raj Kumar added, “Chhath Puja Prasad is very important to me. As I am very far away from my home and it’s not possible to go to home every year on this biggest festival, at least after having prasad I feel some blessings of Chhathi Maiya and Sun God. Every year I keep waiting to get prasad by courier from my hometown. Prasad is believed to emanate positive vibrations thus eating prasad is said to bring positive vibrations.”