Being an Indian, we are proud of the beautiful cultures, festivals, different languages, food, and so much diversity but united. As the festive season counts by the end of the year, we now have Chhath Puja in the bucket. Though not many of the Indians celebrate Chhath Puja, it is one of the famous festivals in India’s Eastern zone. Including states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh celebrate the festival.
When Does It Occur?
After the Hassel bustle of Navratri and Diwali, it comes to Chhath Puja. According to the Hindu Calendar, the festival occurs on the Sixth day of Kartika Month. According to the English calendar, it appears in October November.
There are two days of the year when chhath puja is celebrated. One is in the month of Chaitra, and one is in Kartika. Though the Kartika month festival is often known as chhath puja, the Chitra month puja is called Chaiti Chhath.
Significance of Chhath Puja
According to Venice Ritual, the festival is celebrated and praised the Sun or Surya. Most people call it Shashthi Devi or Chhathi Maiyya. As Diwali or Deepawali is celebrated when Lord Ram came back to Ayodhya with Sita, Chhath Puja is also celebrated for the rearrangement of Ramrajya, which occurred on the sixth day of Kartika month. According to Ramayan, Devi Sita kept fast on this day and did Chhath Puja because she was blessed with two sons Luv and Kush. On the other hand, Mahabharata says Kunti performed Chhath Puja because they escaped from Lakshagrih.
Why Celebrate Chhath Puja?
According to a few communities, they praise the sun for all that it has given us. This is why they do prayers and also perform other rituals for the same.
All communities don’t need to perform chhath puja, but once a family member starts performing it, it becomes compulsory for the family. The further generation also carries the wheels and keeps performing chhath puja. If someone got died near the puja date, then the family could stop doing it, but they cannot resume it ever. But the restrictions are followed by some communities only.
The festival is for four days. The first day of the Kaddu Bhat is to cook satiric food. The food is commonly a mixed dish made with bottle gourd, gram flour, and rice. The food is served to the deity by the afternoon, which is also called Bhog.
On the second day, Kharna the Parvaitin prepare cook rice with jaggery, which is often called knees. Along with it, they also prepare poori and seasonal fruits.
Then the last two days are called Pahli Arag and Dusri arag, which are the days to worship the sun and give Prasad in the name of the sun.
The final prayer or the Sandhya Arghya is celebrated at home and then at the riverside to prepare Prasad. By the time the sun is about to set, they reach the riverside or the banks of any waterbody and offer prayers to the sun. During the journey and the blessings, they sing religious songs dedicated to Chhathi Maiyya.
On the way back home, they perform another ritual, which is called Jodi Bharai. The entire family joins this ritual, and they carry a bundle of sugarcane and make a mandap.
Under the mandap, they roast the thekua or sweet dish, which is the common Prasad. After all the Prasad is ready, they carry it to the riverside again before dawn and offer the Prasad to the sun.
The beautiful festival with lots of respect and hope for the sun is celebrated by the beginning of winter. The soberness behind such festivals is the most attractive element.