Chhath Puja is the most famous festival which is celebrated in the North Indian state of Bihar and certain regions of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. Chhath Puja starts on 6th day of the Hindu calendar month “Kartika”. This festival is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god and his wife Usha. This festival is celebrated to thank God for supporting life on earth and to seek the blessings of drive Sun god and his wife.
According to Hindu religion, it is believed that sun heal several health conditions and offers longevity, progress, positivity, prosperity and well-being. Moreover, the main day of Chhath is actually not the first but the third day of Chhath puja. This festival is celebrated by people following rigorous routine which lasts for four days, the rituals and traditions of this festival includes fasting, offering prayers to the rising and setting sun, holy bathing and meditation while standing in the water. It is one of the famous Indian festivals which are celebrated in Bihar and many other places of India including Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and region of Nepal.
Dates of Chhath Puja 2023
Chhath festival 2023 Days Date of Chhath puja 2023
Day 1- Nahai Khay Friday 17th November
Day 2- Kkarna Saturday 18th November
Day 3- Sandhya Arghya Sunday 19th November
Day 4- Bhor Arghya/Paaran Monday 20th November
History of Chhath Puja:
According to Hindu mythology, Draupadi and the Pandavas used to observe the Chhath Puja to regain their Kingdom and resolve their issues. Another legend says that Karna, who was Lord Surya and Kunti’s son, used to perform the Chhath Puja. He ruled over the Anga Desh, the modern-day Bhagalpur in Bihar, during the age of Mahabharata.
Another history reflecting the significance of Chhath puja is the story of Lord Rama. In Ramayana, when Rama and Sita returned Ayodhya, people celebrated Deepawali, and on its sixth day Ramrajya was established. On this day Rama and Sita kept fast and Surya Shashthi/Chhath puja was performed by Sita. Since then, the Chhath Puja became the important and traditional festival in the Hindu.
Rituals involved in Chhath Festival:
Chhath is a four-day festival. Below is the list of Chhath rituals which are involved in Chhath festival:
Nahay Khay: The first day of the Chhath involved devotees taking dip preferably in the River Kosi, Ganga and Karnali and then after the holy water to prepare the offerings. It is one of the most important rituals of Chhath on the first day.
Lohanda or Kharna: The second day of Chhath Puja involved devotees fasting the whole day and the fast ends a little later after the sunset. The second important ritual of Chhath Puja involves devotees preparing offerings like kheer, bananas and rice for the family after worshiping the sun and Moon. After consuming the prasad one has to fast for 36 hours without water.
Sandhya Arghya (evening offerings): The third day of Chhath Puja is also observed with fast without water and the entire day involves preparing puja offerings. The offerings (prasad) later are kept in a bamboo tray. The offering includes thekua, coconut banana and other seasonal fruits. Third days evening rituals takes place at the banks of a river or a pond or any clean water body. All the devotees offer ‘araghya’ to the setting sun.
Bihaniya Arghya or Bhor Arghya: On the last day of Chhath Puja, devotees again assemble on the bank of the river or any water body and then offer prayers and prasad to the rising Sun. After the offerings are done then the devotees break their fast by eating ginger and sugar or anything which is available locally. After all these Chhath Puja rituals this amazing festival ends.
Scientific Significance of Chhath festival:
Chhath Puja is the best way to get your body detoxified as taking dips in water and exposing the body to sun increases the flow of solar bio electricity which improves the functionality of human body. It is also said that Chhath Puja helps to kills the harmful bacteria and prepares the body for the upcoming winter season. It helps the human body get rid of toxicity. It also helps in absorption of Vitamin D and Calcium.
Chhath Puja rituals help in flushing out harmful bacteria and viruses from the body that prepares devotees for the onset of the winter season. During the Puja devotees stand in water. It rejuvenates their nervous system, giving them good health and a calm mind. Nowadays, Vitamin D deficiency is running like an epidemic in the country and Sun worship in Kartik month helps in the absorption of Vitamin D. These vitamins come from UVB rays that are predominant at the sunset and sunrise-the periods during which Puja is offered.
Chhath festival Facts:
- Chhath is observed twice a year. The Chhath Puja which is observed in the month of Chaitra is called Chaiti Chhath and the Chhath which is observed in the month of Kartik is considered to be the biggest one.
- Chhath is the only Vedic Festival in the Hindu religion. It is dedicated to the Sun known or Chhathi Maiya (Vedic goddess Usha).
- It is perhaps the oldest Hindu festival that is celebrated till today. The reason to celebrate this festival also has a great significance. It is believed that during sunrise and sunset the human body can safely absorb the positive solar energies.
- Once a family starts to celebrate Chhath puja, it cannot be stopped and has to be continued for all the coming generations. The exceptions can be severe illness or death in the family.
- Perhaps it is the only festival in the Hindu religion that doesn’t require any priest or pandit Ji to sanctify the ceremony.
- Purity is the core word of this festival. The devotees that’s why needed to take the holy bath in the nearby pond or river.
- It is not only India where one gets to see this worshipping of Sun God who is the nurturer of life on earth. In many other cultures and civilizations also, Sun God is worshipped or thanked.
- Like all other festivals, this one is also about rituals and traditions. But one draws immense mental calmness too by following the rituals of this festival.
- Those who are varties or follow the rituals intensely witness a changed body functioning during those 4 days of this festival. It is believed that this festival helps in building a strong intuition and telepathy among people.
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