In short

Chhath is an ancient Hindu festival historically native to the Indian subcontinent, specifically the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and the Nepalese provinces of Madhesh and Lumbini. Prayers during Chhath puja are dedicated to the solar deity, Surya, to show gratitude and gratitude for bestowing the blessings of life on earth and to request that certain wishes be fulfilled.


Chhath, an ancestral festival in honor of the solar deity Surya

Chhathi Maiya, the sixth form of Devi Prakriti and the sister of Lord Surya is worshiped as the goddess of the festival. It is celebrated six days after Deepavali, on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika (October-November) in the calendar

The rituals are observed for four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (vrata), standing in water and offering prasad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun. Some devotees also perform a prostration walk as they move towards the banks of the river.

Chhath puja is dedicated to the sun god Surya. The sun is visible to every being and is the basis of life for all creatures on earth. Along with the Sun God, Chhathi Maiya is also worshiped on this day. According to Vedic astrology, Chhathi Maiya (or Chhathi Mata) protects children from diseases and problems and gives them long life and good health.

According to legends, the festival originates from the early Vedic period, where sages fasted for days and performed puja with mantras from Rigveda. The festival is believed to have also been performed by Karna, the son of Lord Surya and the king of Anga Desh, which is modern day Bhagalpur of Bihar.

According to another legend, Pandavas and Draupadi also performed Puja to overcome the obstacles in their lives and regain their lost kingdom. For people of Bihar and other nearby regions, Chhath Puja is considered Mahaparva.

Nahaay Khaay (Day 1)

It's the first day of the festival. Parvaitin (trans. devotees, from Sanskrit parv, meaning "occasion" or "celebration") must take a holy bath, after which the entire house, its surroundings and the pathways leading to the Ghat are thoroughly cleaned. The Parvaitin usually cooks Sattvik Lauka Bhaat (preparation of Bengal Gram gourd and lentils with Arva Rice Bhaat).

This preparation is served to the deity in the afternoon under the name Bhog. This initiates the Parv and is the last meal of the Parvaitin during Chhath Puja. The food is then eaten to protect the mind from thoughts of revenge.

Rasiaav-Roti/Kharna/Lohanda (day 2)

Kharna, also known as Rasiaav-Roti or Lohanda, is the second day. On this day, devotees are not allowed to drink even a single drop of water. In the evening, they eat gur ke kheer (Kheer made from jaggery), called Rasiaav, accompanied by Roti.

Sanjhka Aragh (day 3)

This day is spent preparing prasad (offerings) at home, often consisting of a bamboo basket decorated with fruits, Thekua and rice laddus. The day before this day, the entire household accompanies the devotee to the edge of a river, pond or other large body of water to make the Arghya offerings at the setting sun.

The occasion can in many ways resemble a carnival. Besides the devotees, their friends and family, many participants and spectators are all ready to help and receive the blessings of the worshipper.

At the time of arghya, Gangajal water is offered to the Sun God and Chhathi Maiya is worshiped along with prasad. After worshiping the Sun God, Chhath songs are sung in the night and Vrat katha is read.

After returning home, devotees perform the ritual of kosi bharai with other family members. They take 5 to 7 sugarcanes and tie them together to form a mandap and under the shade of this mandap, 12 to 24 Diya lamps are burnt and kua and other seasonal fruits are offered.

The same ritual is repeated the next morning between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. and then devotees offer arghya or other offerings to the rising sun.

Bhorka Aragh (Day 4)

Before sunrise on the last day, devotees should go to the riverside to offer arghya to the rising sun. After this, protection of the child and peace and happiness of the entire family are sought from Chhatti Maiya. After worship, devotees drink water and eat a little prasad to break the fast. This is called Paran or Parana.

The Chhathi Maiya is worshiped during the festival, which is also mentioned in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana.

In the Munger region, the festival is known for its association with Sita Manpatthar (Sita Charan; lit. Footsteps of Sita). The Sitacharan Temple, located on a rock in the middle of the Ganges in Munger, is the main center of public faith regarding the Chhath festival. Goddess Sita is believed to have performed the Chhath festival in Munger. It was only after this event that the Chhath festival began. This is why Chhath Mahaparva is celebrated with great pomp in Munger and Begusarai.

According to another legend, King Priyavrat, son of the first Manu Swayambhu, was very sad because he had no children. Maharishi Kashyap asked him to do a yajna. As per the orders of Maharishis, he performed a Yajna for a son. After this, Queen Malini gave birth to a son, but unfortunately the baby was stillborn. The king and his family were very sad because of this. Then Mata Shashthi revealed herself in the sky. When the king prayed to her, she spoke saying:

“I am Chhathi Maiya the sixth form of Devi Parvati. I protect all the children of the world and give the blessing of children to all childless parents. » After that, the Goddess blessed the lifeless child with her hands, so that he came to life. The king was very grateful for the grace of the goddess and he worshiped Goddess Shashthi Devi. It is believed that after this puja, this festival became a global celebration.

Chhath has been mentioned in both the great Indian epics. In Ramayana, when Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya, people celebrated Deepawali and on the sixth day, Ramrajya (lit. Kingdom of Rama) was established. On this day, Rama and Sita remained fast and Surya Shashthi/Chhath Puja was performed by Sita. Therefore, she was blessed with Luv and Kush as her sons.

While in the Mahabharata, Chhath Puja was performed by Kunti after their escape from Lakshagriha. It is also believed that Karna, the son of Surya and Kunti, was conceived after Kunti performed Chhath puja. Draupadi is also said to perform the Puja for the Pandavas to win the Kurukshetra war.

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Today, people of North India celebrate Chhath or Chhath Puja. The rituals are observed for four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (vrata), standing in water and offering prasad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #India #Chhath #ChhathPuja #Surya