CHHATH PUJA: Thanking The God of Light “Sun”
Chhath puja is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to the God of light “SUN”. This festival is celebrated to thank Sun God for supporting life on earth and people also ask for continuous blessing and other unfulfilled wishes to come true.
Sun which is considered as a source of energy and life on the planet is worshiped on this festival, in Hinduism worshiping sun is also believed to cure many diseases which increases the importance of this festival. On this festival devotees offer prayers to the setting sun and then to the rising sun, presuming it as the process of birth cycle, it is the most glorious process of Sun’s Worship.
Chhath puja is not only celebrated in India but also in many other parts of the world like Nepal, Mauritius, Bhutan,Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica etc. In India this festival is basically observed in Bihar, Jharkhand and in places where people from these places have migrated.
The word ‘Chhath’ denotes the number ‘6’ in Hindi and is performed on the sixth day of the month of kartik according to Hindu calendar.
History of Chhath Puja dates back to the time immemorial. It is believed that Kings used to call expert pundits to perform this puja and from then the tradition of chhath puja started. It is also believed that ancient Hindu Vedas also contain hymns for worshipping Sun God. It is also said that the Goddess worshiped on this festival is ‘chhati maiyya’ believed to be the Sun God’s wife. During the festival chhati maiyya is worshiped to bless and also help to overcome problems and troubles.
On this day women wear beautiful sarees with matching bangles. Choose the best Chhath Puja Collection.
Unique feature of this festival is that there is no involvement of any priests. This festival extends to four days:
Day 1: Nahai Khai: – On the first day of the festival, people take dip preferably in sacred river Ganga, and bring its holy water to prepare the offerings.
Day 2: Lohanda and Kharna: – On the second day a whole day fast is observed by the devotees (even without water) and it comes to end after sunset after offering prayers to the God. Kheer, Puri is prepared as offerings and is distributed among family and friends.
Day 3: Sandhya Arghya: – On third day the devotees spent whole day in preparing the offerings to the sun God and in the evening every member of the family goes to the near river, pond or any clean water body to offer the preparations to the setting Sun. The folk songs are sung after the offerings.
Day 4: Usha Arghya: – On the final day of the festival, every devotee goes to the river bank before sunrise to give the offerings to the rising sun. Devotees pray for their wellbeing as well as for their family. After the offerings, devotees break their fast with sugar or ginger as per the tradition. It is at this time everyone seems to be happy as one feels blessed by the mercy of chhati maiyya or Sun God.
Once a family starts performing this puja then it becomes their duty to perform this festival every year unless any mis-happening (generally death) takes place that year.