Chhath Puja, A unique festival of sun worship

Chhath Puja is a four-day Hindu festival dedicated to the sun god Surya and his wife Shashthi Devi. People celebrate it in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, as well as in the Terai region of Nepal. They celebrate the festival between October and November.

Chhath Puja is a unique festival in many ways. One of the few Hindu festivals celebrated outdoors, and it is also one of the few festivals that does not have any particular temple or deity associated with it. Instead, devotees worship the sun and the earth, which they see as manifestations of the divine. The festival begins with a day of fasting and cleaning. Devotees bathe in holy rivers and clean their homes and surroundings. On the second day, devotees offer prayers and offerings to the sun god Surya. They also prepare a special prasad (offering) of Thekua, a sweet made from wheat flour, jaggery, and ghee.

On the third day of Chhath Puja, devotees observe a strict fast and stand in the river or pond at sunset to offer prayers to the sun god. They also offer prasad to the sun god. On the fourth and final day of the festival, devotees wake up early to offer prayers to the sun god as he rises. They also offer prasad to the sun god and break their fast.

History and Importance

The ancient Hindu festival of Chhath originated over 3,000 years ago. People celebrate this festival to express gratitude for the blessings of the Sun God, Surya, and to pray for good health, prosperity, and happiness.

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Many different legends are associated with the Chhath festival. One legend claims that Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata, first celebrated Chhath. Draupadi is said to have sought the Sun God’s blessing by performing Chhath puja after her husband and brothers lost everything in a game of dice and were forced into exile.

Why is Chhath Celebrated?

People celebrate Chhath for various reasons. They pay homage to the Sun God during this time, as they consider the Sun God to be the source of all life and energy. It is also a time to pray for good health, prosperity, and happiness for oneself and one’s family.

Chhath Puja Celebration
Pic: Chhath Puja Celebration (Source: Online Khabar)

Chhath is also a festival of community and togetherness. Devotees from all walks of life come together to celebrate and worship. The festival is a reminder of the importance of unity and harmony in society.

Chhath in Nepal

Chhath is one of the most popular and important festivals in Nepal, especially in the Terai region. It is celebrated by people of all castes and creeds and is a symbol of national unity and harmony.

The Chhath festival in Nepal is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. Devotees start preparing for the festival weeks in advance. They clean their homes and offices and prepare special food and prasad.

On the first day of the festival, devotees take a holy bath in a river or pond. They then fast for the next 36 hours, abstaining from food and water. On the third day, devotees stand in the water and offer prasad and arghya(Offering) to the setting sun. On the fourth day, they repeat the same rituals for the rising sun.

The Chhath festival is a beautiful and heartwarming sight to behold. The riverbanks and ponds are teeming with devotees, offering their prayers and thanks to the Sun God. The air is filled with the sound of devotional songs and chants.

A festival of faith and devotion

Chhath Puja is a festival of faith and devotion. It is a time for people to come together and celebrate the natural world. The festival is also a time for people to reflect on their lives and to be grateful for all that they have.

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Chhath Puja is a very popular festival in Bihar. It is estimated that over 100 million people celebrate the festival in Bihar each year. The festival is also becoming increasingly popular in other parts of India and in the world.

The Significance of Chhath

Chhath is a festival of great significance for Hindus. It is a time to pay homage to the Sun God, who is considered to be the source of all life and energy. It is also a time to pray for good health, prosperity, and happiness for oneself and one’s family. Chhath is also a festival of community and togetherness. Devotees from all walks of life come together to celebrate and worship. The festival is a reminder of the importance of unity and harmony in society.

Why is Chhath Puja so important?

Chhath Puja is important for a number of reasons. First, it is a time for people to come together and celebrate their faith. The festival is also a time for people to connect with the natural world and to appreciate the beauty of the sun and the earth. Second, Chhath Puja is a time for people to reflect on their lives and to be grateful for all that they have.

Chhath Puja Celebration In Nepal
Pic: Chhath Puja Celebration In Nepal (Source: Corporate Khabar)

The festival is a reminder that we are all connected to each other and to the natural world. Third, Chhath Puja is a time for people to pray for the well-being of their families and friends. The festival is also a time to pray for peace and prosperity.

How to celebrate Chhath Puja

If you are interested in celebrating Chhath Puja, remember a few things. First, fasting on the third day of the festival is important. Second, stand in a river or pond at sunset to offer prayers to the sun god. Third, offer prasad to the sun god on all four days of the festival.

How to Celebrate Chhath

To celebrate Chhath, you must make a few key decisions. Firstly, choose between celebrating it at home or in a public space. If you opt for a home celebration, create a dedicated, clean, and beautifully adorned worship area. Prepare special dishes like thekua, prasad chawal, and prasad kheer.

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On the first day, take a purifying bath in a river or pond and commence a 36-hour fast. On the third day, stand in the water and offer prasad and arghya to the setting sun. Repeat these rituals for the rising sun on the fourth day.

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