What is Chhath Puja 2022 | What is the History Behind It | How is it celebrated ?

What is Chhath Puja?

By Intimate Viewpoint

four ladies wearing printed sarees standing by joining hands

Chhath Puja is a major festival in North India. It is celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and a few regions of Nepal. It is celebrated yearly in the month of Kartik (in the Hindu calendar) and between October and November. It is celebrated also between the month of April and May, and in Chait from the Hindu calendar, but most people like to celebrate this festival in the month of October and November, 6 days later from Diwali.

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What is Chhath puja, and how is it celebrated?

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water is offered to the sun god by four hands wearing colourful bangles

What is Chhath Puja?

Chhath Puja is a festival in which Surya Dev (Sun God) is worshipped. But the conditions are different from the other worship that all Indians do on a regular basis.

In India, Sun God is worshipped by people of different castes and religions. But in Hinduism, Sun God is glorified differently. The people from the Hindu community, offer water to the sun after bathing on a regular basis. But in Chhath Puja, people offer water to the Sun God by standing inside the water. This worship is done by the women and also by the men. The particular person who does this worship stays fast for 2 days. This festival is celebrated for 4 days.

* The first day is called Kaddu Bhat. The respective person eats rice, Chana dal, and Bottle gourd sabzi which is cooked without onion and garlic after taking a holy bath. Thus the Brat is started. 

kheer, Roti & banana is offered in Lohonda in Chhath puja

* The second day is called Khanna or Lohonda. Khir or pudding is made with Gurdh or jaggery. The man or the woman has this pudding in the evening after a whole day of fasting. The preparation for this pudding is done in a different way. Gas stove or not any other stove is used to cook this pudding. A special kind of stove is made with bricks. Wood is burnt to cook it. The place where it is cooked is cleaned up, especially for this occasion.

Thekua ( a spacial kind of food made with wheat flour, jaggery, and ghee

* The third day is called Pahela Aragh. It is the most important day of this festival. People offer water and many kinds of food like fruits and vegetables Thekua, which is made with wheat flour jaggery, and ghee, and also some raw spices like Ginger, Turmeric, etc. but not on a plate but rather on a Soop which is made with bamboo. All the things are arranged properly on the Soop then waited for the sun to set. Everything is offered to the setting Sun. Thus the third day of this festival ends.

* The 4th and the last day do not take the whole day. It ends with the rising Sun. The same things are offered to the rising Sun.

Prasaads are arranged in a kind of plate called Soop

The history 

Chhath Puja is dedicated to all the power of the Sun god. It is believed that the Sun god is one of the Mighty Gods of the universe and he helps all living beings to sustain their lives by giving his life rays. That's why people pay their gratitude to him by celebrating this festival.

This festival has been celebrated not only now but for centuries, and there are many stories behind it. It is said that Chhath Puja is associated with the great epic of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

The history that is associated with Ramayana is that Lord Ram and his wife Sita did this worship by staying fast when they returned from the exile of 14 days.

The history that is associated with Mahabharata is that Draupadi held this worship to regain her Kingdom 'Indraprasth' (now Delhi). Apart from this, Karna who was the son of the Sun used to pay his respect and gratitude to his father by standing in the water. Thus the festival originated.

The way of celebration 

Chhath Puja is a festival full of auspicious rituals. All rituals are done from day one with respect and full devotion. This festival is completely different from other Hindu festivals. The rules, regulations, and rituals of this festival make it different from other festivals.

The main person takes a holy bath after cutting her nails (it is a ritual of Hindu worship) and eats rice with Kaddu Sabji. This is how they start the festival. Then the next day keeps a fast all day long then eats Bhog or Prasad in the evening which is cooked in a holy way. 

The third day is also a day of fasting for a whole day. The respective person breaks her fast on the next or the fourth day after offering water and Prasad to the Sun god.

There is a big crowd that can be seen in the market, especially on the bank of a river, sea, or of any water body. Big loudspeakers are placed near every water body in which Chhath Geet (songs) are played frequently. Children burst crackers. Musical instruments of a band party are played near the water bodies.

Migrated people from different places return to their homes for this occasion. Therefore, there is a big crowd that can be seen also at the railway stations.

Even though this festival is celebrated only in a few regions and states of India but it is more popular throughout the country.

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