Chhath Puja is a festival that is dedicated to the worship of Sun god, Surya and Chhathi Maiya or Usha (The consort of Sun). Chhath Puja is performed to show gratitude towards the prime for sustaining life on earth Surya.
The term basically Chhath is named in reference to the sixth day of lunar fortnight of Kartik month. Puja is celebrated six days after Diwali.
Lord Surya is considered the lord of energy and life force and is worship during the Chhath festival and to endorse prosperity, well being and progress. Worshipping of sun is a very old ritual in Hinduism as according to them Sun worship is related to the cure of range of diseases and is also believed that Sun worship help devotees to improve the immunity of body and provides the Solar Energy and empowers to control the secretion of hormones
Thus, it is also said that the ritual of Chhath Puja provides mental calmness by helping in detoxification of body as well as mind. Even in the process of ageing to leprosy Chhath puja is considered as beneficial factor.
Chhath puja and its Rituals:
Chhath puja is is considered one of the most difficult festival. As Chhath Puja is celebrated over the period of four days that includes, Holy bathing, fasting, and abstaining from the drinking water, to preparing and offering prayer and commodity offerings too.
The first day is called ‘Nahai Khai’ that means bath and eat.
The worshippers of Chhath Puja mostly women wake up early in the morning take a dip in holy river Ganga or other similar sacred water bodies and carry some holy water to purify the house and surrounding. They use the water to cook Prasad (prayer offerings) and devotees consume the same later
On the second day of Chhath puja, the devotees fasts whole day and eats only in the evenings soon after sunset. Kheer (rice and milk pudding) is offered as Prasad to the devotees and worshippers.
On the third day of Chhath puja, the ritual continues of offering the food and consuming it later. The family members accompany the worshippers to the river bank, pond or common water body nearby. During the Chhath puja the traditional songs are sung by the women which reflects the culture, mythology and history of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Also on the third day of Chhath Puja in some houses where shortly marriage or childbirth has taken place ‘Kosi‘ is celebrated by lightening the earthen lamps under a canopy of five sugarcane sticks.
The last day that is the Fourth day of Chhath puja, is consider the most auspicious day. The worshippers of go to the river bank before sunrise in order to make the offering(Aragh) to the rising Sun and then the fast breaks with the offering of Prasad to Parvaitins and other friends and relatives visiting the houses of the devotees.
It all ends with a massive feast with the belief that Sun god will take care of their worries and will provide in good health, prosperity and Wellness.
“Bolo Chhatthi Maiyya ki Jai”
Pic source – Internet.
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