It's time for a festive season in India! Following the joyous celebration of Diwali, the country is all set to begin preparations for the Chhath Puja. This significant festival is predominantly observed in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, extending to various other regions in India and even parts of Nepal.
This year, the festival kicks off on November 17, with the main and final day to be celebrated on November 20. Each day demands strict adherence to Chhath rituals.
Dedicated to the worship of the sun deities Surya and Shashthi Devi, the Chhath Puja spans four days, each marked by specific rituals: Surya Shashti, Mahaparv or Chhath Parv, Dala Puja, Pratihar, and Dala Chhath. The observance involves women fasting for the well-being of their sons and the overall happiness of their families. Devotees offer Arghya, a ritual offering, to Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya.
Chhath Puja serves the purpose of seeking blessings from the Sun God for a healthy, happy, and prosperous life. Believers attribute the healing properties of sunlight to its ability to cure various diseases. The ritualistic dip in holy rivers is believed to have medicinal benefits. The festival emphasizes mental purity and mental and physical strength and necessitates maintaining the utmost cleanliness.
Chhath Puja involves a series of rituals. The first day, Kaddu Bhaat or Nahai Khai, sees the main worshiper (parvaitin) preparing Satvik Kaddu Bhaat along with pulses, offering it as bhog to the deity in the afternoon. The second day, Kharana, involves the parvaitin cooking roti and rice kheer and serving it as a bhog to 'Chandradevta' (Moon God).
On the third day, a full-day fast without water is observed, culminating in the main ritual of offering Arghya to the setting Sun. The fourth and final day, Usha Arghya, entails giving Dusri Arghya to the rising Sun, breaking the 36-hour fast afterward. Chhath Puja is a time-honored tradition that blends devotion, rigorous rituals, and a deep connection with nature.
Chhath Nahay Khay: November 17, the sunrise time is 06:45 am and the sunset time is 17:27 pm.
Lohanda and Kharna: November 18, the sunrise time is 06:46 am and the sunset time is 17:26 pm.
Sandhya Arghya: November 19, the sunrise time is 06:46 am and the sunset time is 5:26 pm.
Usha Arghya: November 20, the sunrise time is 06:47 am and the sunset time is 17:26 pm.