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.
Chhath is a Hindu festival but many muslim families also participates in this holy festival.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).
First Day of Chhath Puja: Nahai Khai Nahai Khai (Bath & Eat)
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.
The evening ritual is performed at the banks of river or pond or any clean water body. All the devotees, family, friends and visitors assemble their and the agrahya is offered to the setting Sun. ‘Kosi’ – One of the most charming events during Chhath Puja known as ‘Kosi’ is celebrated at the courtyard of the house after evening offerings. Lightened earthen lamps (diyas) are kept beneath the covering of five sugarcane sticks or 24 sticks (as per local tradition). The same event also takes place at the ghats in the early morning before morning offerings (arghyas).
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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