Indians celebrate different festivals throughout the year in different parts of the country. Now that we’ve just wrapped up Diwali celebrations, it’s time to welcome Chhath Puja. It is observed in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The “God Sun” has been worshipped by almost every civilization, but in Bihar, it takes on a different shape. The only time the setting and rising suns are both worshipped is during Chhath Puja.
Chhath Puja 2023: Date And Timing
This year, Chhath Puja will be observed from November 17–20. The Hindu calendar is used to determine the puja’s dates. It occurs on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika, six days after Diwali. Since the Vedic era, Chhath Puja has been conducted, and numerous origin legends have been passed down by others.
On November 17, according to Drik Panchang, sunrise will take place at 6:45am and will set at 5:47pm.
Legends About This Festival
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma split his body in two at the moment of creation. Nature was born from his left side, while man was born from his right. Nature split into six halves after that. Shashthi Devi was the name of Prakriti Devi’s sixth section. Chhath Devi is another name for Shashthi Devi.
Kartikeya is the name of Chhath Maiya’s husband, according to the Puranas. In addition to being Lord Ganesha’s brother, he is the son of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati. The most well-known of the sixteen moms who emerged from the sixth realm of nature, according to Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran, is Chhath Maiya, Kartikeya’s wife.
There is a legend that the sun’s child, Karna, performed the Chhath Puja. Karna was the ruler of Anga Desh, which is thought to be located in what is now Bhagalpur, Bihar. It’s also believed that Draupadi followed the fast to overcome the challenges and difficulties that faced her and the Pandavas.
Rituals And Significance
Chhath Puja is distinguished by a strong spiritual and natural bond. As families and neighbourhoods gather to carry out rituals, eat meals, and exchange blessings, the celebration promotes a sense of community.
With its many customs, Chhath Puja also captures the spirit of discipline, thankfulness, and the never-ending circle of life. On the last day of festivities, when the sun sets, a sense of spiritual fulfillment and camaraderie among the community is left behind that lasts until the next year’s celebration.
The worship of the sun, the ultimate source of life and energy, is the focus of Chhath. Nahay Khay, or washing and feasting, is the first phase of the event, during which attendees take a ceremonial bath and eat a basic meal. On the following day, Kharna, one must fast all day and break it only as a sunset sacrifice to the gods.
The primary rituals are performed on the third day. Before dawn, devotees—who are typically women—assemble at bodies of water, such as ponds or rivers. They sing prayers and offer arghya (water offerings) to the rising sun while standing waist deep in the river.
This distinctive feature of Chhath Puja stands for self-control, purity, and the continuation of life. Another round of arghya is witnessed as the sun sets, this time saying goodbye to the day.
Do you celebrate this festival?
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva
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