Chhath Puja is one such important and ancient festival dedicated to the worship of Sun God and Chhathi Maiya, ancient Vedic Goddess Usha – wife of Sun God. Chhath Puja is a four-day festival which begins on the sixth day after Diwali. The festival is celebrated each year in the month of October or November. Chhath Puja is considered as one of the most difficult festivals as it requires women to fast without food and water for long durations during the festive period of four days.
Chhath is an important festival of the Hindu religion. Celebrated mostly in Bihar and Nepal’s Mithila, Chhath Puja is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god and his wife. Devotees perform the puja to thank the Sun god for supporting life on earth and seek protection his and blessings.
Chhath Puja 2017- Date, Shubh Muhurat, Significance and Puja Vidhi
This year, Chhath will be from 24th October to 27th October 2017. The main puja will be observed on 26th October 2017.
Sunrise on Chhath Puja Day – 06:41 am
Sunset on Chhath Puja Day – 18:05 pm
Shashthi Tithi Begins – 09:37am on 25th October 2017
Shashthi Tithi Ends – 12:15 pm on 26th October 2017
It is believed that Draupadi and the Pandavas performed the Chhath puja as advised by noble sage Dhaumya. As she worshipped the Sun god, Draupadi she saw all her problems vanishing and the Pandavas were also able to regain their lost kingdom. Another story that revolves around the Chhath Puja is that when Lord Ram and Sita were returning to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, Sita had observed a fast and performed a puja for the Sun god in the month of Kartik in Shukla Paksha. From that time onwards, Chhath puja became a significant festival in the Hindu religion.
During the festival, fasting is observed by lady folks or married women for the well-being of their sons and the happiness of family members. This festival is mainly celebrated in the state of Bihar and adjoining Nepal with great fervor and fun. The festival takes place for four days, the very first day of Chhath is called Nahay Khay. On this day, the devotees take a holy dip into the water, especially into the river Ganga and take the only single meal on this day (the women folk who observe the fast).
The second day of the festival is called Kharna. On this day, the fasting without any drop of water is observed from the sunrise to the sunset. The fast is broken in the evening just after the sunset and making as well as offering food to the Sun God. After having Prasad on the second day, the third day’s fasting begins.On the third day, a day-long fast is observed without taking water. The third day is the main day of Chhat Puja known as Sanjhiya Ghat. Offering Arghya to the setting sun is the essence of this day. It is the only time of the year in which people worship the setting Sun and offer Arghya. The third day’s fasting goes on throughout the night. On the next day after sunrise, the Parna begins. On the fourth or can say the final day of Chhath, people offer Arghya to the rising Sun, which is called Usha Argya. After Arghya, the 36 hours long fast is broken.
Along with making Chhath puja special with the Chhath puja song, devotees make the special pras in order to make the days memorable. The prasad consists of sweets that include Kheer, thekua, laddoo made of rice grit and fruits like sugarcane, sweet lime, and banana. The food prepared during this festival is pure vegetarian and is cooked without the use of salt, onion, and garlic.