Chhath Puja 2023: All you need to know about this festival
Chhath Puja, a revered Hindu festival respecting the Sun God, and Chhathi Maiya, are predominantly observed in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
Celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali, i.e., on the sixth day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik, this significant celebration involves devout fasting, ceremonial bathing, and offering prayers to the sun at both its rise and fall.
This year, Chhath Puja will be celebrated from Friday, November 17, to Monday, November 20, 2023.
How do devotees celebrate Chhath Puja?
The rituals associated with Chhath Puja are intricate, with devotees immersing themselves in rivers or water bodies before sunrise and sunset. Offerings, known as prasad, comprising fruits, sugarcane, and homemade sweets, are presented to the Sun God. The festival is characterized by a commitment to discipline and cleanliness, with devotees enduring a 36-hour fast without water.
The devotees observe a holy bath and prepare prasad on the first day. The second day, Kharna, entails a day-long fast that concludes after sunset with kheer (sweet rice pudding) and chapatis. On the third day, Sandhya Arghya (evening offerings), devotees present arghya to the setting sun. The final day, Usha Arghya (morning offerings), involves devotees offering arghya to the rising sun.
Cultural significance of the festival:
Chhath Puja holds cultural and social significance, fostering community unity and devotion. The Chhath Puja is an occasion for family reunions, strengthening social bonds, and promoting environmental sustainability by venerating natural elements like the sun, water, and earth.
Chhath Puja`s popularity has transcended its traditional regions, spreading widely due to migration. Today, the Chhath Puja is celebrated fervently across various parts of India, reflecting the festival`s enduring cultural and spiritual appeal.