What is Chhath Puja?
An ancient Hindu festival, dedicated to Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya (known to be the sister of Surya), Chhath Puja is exclusive to the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and therefore the country of Nepal. it’s the sole Vedic festival that’s dedicated to the Sun God, who is meant to be the source of all powers and Chhathi Maiya (another name for Goddess Usha from the Vedic period). The god of sunshine , energy and vital force is worshipped so as to market well being, development and therefore the prosperity of citizenry . Through this festival, people aim towards thanking the Sun God for a period of 4 days. The devotees who observe the fast during this festival are called Vrati.
Chhath Puja 2021 Dates
Wednesday, 10th November
Traditionally, this festival is widely known twice a year, once within the summers and therefore the second time during the winters. The Karthik Chhath is widely known during the month of October or November and it’s performed on Kartika Shukla Shashti which is that the sixth day of the month of Karthika consistent with the Hindu calendar . Commemorated on the 6th Day after Diwali, another major Hindu festival, it generally falls during the month of October-November.
It is also celebrated during the summers which is usually referred to as Chaiti Chhath. this is often celebrated a couple of days after Holi.
Why is that the festival named ‘Chhath’?
The meaning of the word Chhath is six in Nepali or Hindi Language and as this festival is widely known on the sixth day of the month of Karthika, the festival is known as an equivalent .
Why is Chhath Puja celebrated?
There are many stories that go back to the origin of Chhath Puja. it’s assumed that within the past , Chhath Puja was celebrated by Draupadi and therefore the Pandavas of Hastinapur so as to unravel their problems and regain their lost kingdom. The mantras from the Rig Veda texts are chanted while worshipping the sun. because the story goes by, this Puja was first started by Surya Putra Karna who ruled over the Anga Desh (Bhagalpur in Bihar) during the age of Mahabharata. The scientific history or rather the yogic history dates back to the first Vedic Period. Legend says that the sages and rishis of that era used this method so as to restrain from any external means of food and gain energy directly from the rays of the sun.
The Rituals of Chhath Puja
Chhathi Maiya, commonly referred to as Usha is that the goddess worshipped during this Puja. The Chhath festival involves several rituals, which are considerably harsher as compared to other Hindu festivals. These usually involve taking dips in rivers or water bodies, strict fasting (one can’t even drink water within the entire process of fasting), standing and offering prayers in water, facing the sun for long periods and also offering prashad to the sun at sunrise and sunset.
On the primary day of the Puja, the devotees need to take a dip within the holy river and cook a correct meal for themselves. Kaddu Bhaat along side Channa dal may be a common preparation on today and it’s cooked by using mud or bronze utensils and mango wood over a mud stove. the women observing the fast can allow themselves just one meal on today .
Lohanda and Kharna
On the second day, the devotees are to watch a quick for the whole day, which they will break just a short time after sunset. The Parvaitins cook the entire Prasad on their own which include kheer and chapattis and that they break their fast with this Prasad, after which they need to fast without water for 36 hours.
The third day is spent by preparing the Prasad reception then within the evening, the whole household of the Vratins accompany them to the river bank, where they create offerings to the setting sun. The females generally wear sarees of turmeric yellow colour while making their offerings. The evenings are made even better with the enthusiastic folk songs.
Here, on the ultimate day, all the devotees attend the riverbank before sunrise to form offerings to the rising sun. This festival ends when the Vratins break their 36 hours fast (called Paran) and therefore the relatives come across to their house to possess their share of Prasad.
Food During Chhath Puja
The Chhath Prasad is traditionally prepared with rice, wheat, dry fruits, fresh fruits, nuts, jaggery, coconut and much and much of ghee. One important thing regarding the meals prepared during Chhath is that they’re prepared completely without salt, onion and garlic.
Thekua, Chhath Puja
Thekua may be a special a part of the Chhath Puja and it’s basically a cookie made with whole flour which you want to surely try if you visit the place during the festival.
The Significance of the Chhath Puja
Apart from religious significance, there are tons of scientific facts attached to those rituals. The devotees generally pray at the riverbank during sunrise or sunset and it’s scientifically protected with the very fact that, the solar power has rock bottom level of the Ultraviolet radiations during these two timings and it’s really beneficial for the body. This traditional festival showers upon you positivity and helps in detoxifying your mind, soul and body. It helps to get rid of all the negative energies in your body by adoring the powerful sun.