Women holding jars look on as devotees take bath early in the morning in the Ganges river and bring holy water to their home to prepare offerings on the first day of Chhath Puja ancient hindu festival in Patna.
Women holding jars look on as devotees take bath early in the morning in the Ganges river and bring holy water to their home to prepare offerings on the first day of Chhath Puja ancient hindu festival in Patna.
AFP Photo

The Hindu festival of Chhath Puja is celebrated with great fervour in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. It is a four-day festival that is dedicated to worship of the Sun and his sister Shashti Devi. The ritual known as Chhathi Maiya, is followed to thank the goddess for the bounties of life. It is celebrated on the sixth day of the Kartik month in the Hindu calendar.

The four-day festivites with the Nahai-Khai ritual on the first day. This is followed by Kharna on the second day. The evening of the third day and the mornng of the fourth day is dedicated to the evening Arghyadaan and morning Arghyadaan respectively.

The rituals are intense and involve taking a bath in the holy river, observing fast, abstaining from drinking water as well as standing in the water for long periods of time and offering food to the setting and rising sun.

The food, known as prasad, is strictly vegetarian and cooked without putting salt, garlic and onions as the focus is on purity. Mostly, fruits, thekua, rice laddoo, sweets and kheer are offered to the gods.

The festival is mostly celebrated in the Northern parts of the country, especially Bihar and Jharkhand. But, people who have relocated from these states to other parts of the country also form a large part of the celebrations.

Recently, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Thursday allowed to hold SDMC Park for the celebration of Chhath Puja. This comes after a scuffle broke out between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at Kalkaji here on Thursday regarding the organisation of Chhath Puja in one of the parks. AAP Spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj accused BJP of creating problems even though permission had been taken for conducting Chhath Puja in the said park.

Here are the surise and senset timings for November 1:

Bihar:

Sunrise: 5:57 am

Sunset: 5:08 pm

Uttar Pradesh:

Sunrise: 6:05 am

Sunset: 5:17 pm

Delhi:

Sunrise: 6:33 am

Sunset: 5:36 pm

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