It is a festival connected with purity, devotion to the Sun God who is considered as the source of life on this earth and is regarded as wish fulfiller.
The festival is with an aim to express thanks to Sun God for offering energy to earth continuously enabling the environment suitable for the people to live.
In the evening arghya people express their thanks to Sun God for its work in growing their crops during the preceding year and morning arghya is considered as a request for a bountiful crop, peace and prosperity in the year to come.
Devotees assemble at the ghats at rivers and ponds including Ganges and take a holy dip before preparing offerings (Prasad). The main constituent of the offerings are Thekua, which is a wheat based cake.
Offerings are preferably cooked on earthen Chulha (oven). Some traditions are exercised with little difference varying from region to region and across the families with basic similarity.
During the , offerings are contained in small, semicircular pans woven out of bamboo strips called soop.
Chhath is a Hindu festival but many muslim families also participates in this holy festival.
Chhath Puja 2010
Chhath is also called ‘Suryasasthi’ as it observed after the six days of Diwali, the festival of light. Chhath takes place during 6th day (Shasthi) lunar fortnight of Kartik month. lasts for four days. There is also a “Chaiti Chhath” just after Holi during Chaitra Navratri in the month of Chaitra (March last to mid April).
In 2010, the festivity for Chhath puja will begin from November 10 and last till November 13
First Day of Chhath Puja: Nahai Khai Nahai Khai (Bath & Eat) The first day of the puja is known as Nahai Khai (Bath & Eat), the Vrati (devotees) take a bath preferably in sacred river Ganga and bring the holy water to cook offerings (Prasad) at home.
Second Day of Chhath Puja: Kharna
A whole day fast (without water) is observed by the vratis (devotees). The vratis end their fast in the evening after performing puja. Offerings (Prasad) are comprises of Rasiao-kheer (rice delicacy), puris (deep-fried puffs of wheat flour) or chapatti and bananas – are distributed among family, friends and visitors.
Third Day of Chhath Puja: Chhat Sandhya Argh (Chhat Dala Evening puja)Devotees observe fast without consuming water. The whole day is spent in preparing puja offerings. All the offerings are kept in tray made up of bamboo. Offerings comprises of Thekua, coconut, banana and other seasonal fruits.
Fourth Day of Chhath Puja: Chhath Suryodaya Argh (Chhath Dala Morning puja) This is the last and final event of the auspicious puja, the devotees again with their family, friends and relatives assemble on the bank of river or pond to offer arghyas (offerings) to the rising Sun. After performing arghyas devotees break their fast. Ginger and Sugar are used by devotees to break their fast (as per local tradition).
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