The Week Long Chhath Puja Celebration at a Glance

Many of us might just have heard the name Chhath Puja or have seen people celebrating it. Or perhaps just know it by the festival’s most popular dish: the Thekua. Although the Puja, i.e. the festival is celebrated on the Northern parts of India, mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, the popularity is widespread throughout the nation and also to some of the neighbouring countries.

  Comment(s) : 1

The Chhath Puja is typically performed between the months of October and November. In Hinduism, the Sun God is worshipped during the Chhath festival, for the well-being, prosperity and progress of self, family, relatives and friends. The Chhath Puja rituals are observed for a period of four days. But the excitement, the festive feeling starts from a week beforehand. 

Though the festival adds a sense of togetherness, fun, good times with family and friends, the ritual itself has a deeper meaning for which it’s observed with its own morals and ordinance. The rituals constitute of holy bathing, fasting, worshipping and offering prashad, arghya to the rising and setting Sun. 

Kartiki Chhath Puja: Kartiki Chhath Puja is observed in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It’s also celebrated in Kolkata and West Bengal’s some of the districts and towns. As the name suggests, the festival of observed on Kartiki Chhath, i.e. during the Kartik month of Shukla Shahsthi. In Gregorian Calendar, it’s between October and November. 

Chaiti Chhath Puja: It is also known as Chota Chhath. The Chaiti Chhath is celebrated on Chaitra Shashthi, i.e. during March- April, or to be specific, a few days after the Holi festival.

The Holy Rituals of the Chhath Puja

The holy rituals of the Chhath Puja are associated with purity, cleanliness of mind and soul, segregation of the worshipper(s) from the household activities and abstinence. The Rituals are hard for the vratti or the devotee who holds the fast as the person has to hold fasting for long 36 hours without any food or water. This is perhaps the only Hindu festival that does not involve any priest or pandit. The devotees hold the fast and offer prayers to the Sun God, as it is the source of energy and life force, longevity sad prosperity

The rituals are celebrated for 4 days that includes: Nahay Khay, Kharna, Sanjhiya/Sandhya Ghat and Bhorwa Ghat or Paran Chhath. 

Day 1: Nahay Khay

Nahay Khay means Bath and Eat in English. On this day the devotee, i.e the vratti has to take a bath in the holy river Ganga and bring that water to home for making Prasads and offerings. On this day, the ladies who are observing the Vrata or vratin can have one meal on this day.

Day 2:  Kharna

The Kharna starts with a long day fasting. The fasting also includes water. The day long fast ends in the evening after offering worship to the Chhati Maiya. Then the Prasad is distributed among the family members. The Prasad includes Rasiao – Kheer, puris and/or chapattis and bananas.

Day 3: Sanjhiya/Sandhya Ghat

The entire day is celebrated in preparation of puja offerings and food. The vratis observe the fasting once again. The offerings include Thekua, Puri, Coconut, Orange, Apple, Banana and other fruits,especially seasonal fruits. These offerings are kept in a basket made of bamboo sticks called Dauri or in Supali or in metal baskets. In the evening, the vrattis, accompanied by the family members, friends, neighbours all go to the holy river to clean their body and offer Sandhya Arghya to the Sun God. 

After the Sabdhya Arghya ritual, the kosi or kosiya is observed where the earthen pots or lamps (kosi) are kept under the shade of either five or twenty four sugarcane sticks tied together in a yellow cloth.

Day 4: Bhorwa Ghat

The last day of the Chhath Puja is the Bhorwa Ghat. The morning offerings are given to the rising Sun by the vratti and the family members. After the arghya the vrattis worship Chati Maiya and distribute thekua. After the ritual they come back home, take blessings of the elders and break their fast by having ginger and water. Different types of food are then served to the vratti.

The entire days of rituals are worked out smoothly with ladies singing traditional songs, children and other family members all dressed in new and clean clothing, with an amazing festive feeling on their mind. Helping the vratti during this festival is considered to be an act of kindness and good deeds. The Chhath Puja is festival of purity. And hence no non-vegetarian food, i.e. eggs or meat are allowed to be consumed. And always take a bath, clean your hands before touching any belongings of the Puja and Prasads and offerings.

History of the Chhat Puja

The History dates back to as ancient as the Vedic period. The History of this sacred festival has many interpretations. One of which is that of the Mahabharata. It is said that Draupadi performed the Chhath ritual. She offered worship and prayers to the Sun God which in turn solved her problems and helped Pandavas regain their lost kingdom later on. 

Another interpretation says, it is Lord Rama of Ayodhya and Sita of Mithila offered puja to the Lord Sun and kept fast in Kartika month after returning from exile of 14 long years. Since then, it is celebrated evey year on the same date in Sita’s homeland Janakpur and in Bihar.

The yogic history states something different. It states that in the Vedic times, the rishis of yore used to fast and thus remain without any intake of food. They were able to obtain the energy directly from the Sun’s rays.

The Chhati Maiya is worshipped during the Chhat Puja. She is believed to be the younger wife of Surya, the Sun God. Chhati Maiya is also known as Ushain in the Vedas.

The Chhat Puja Recipes and Foods

During this auspicious festival, the people who celebrate and observe the rituals make some really mouth watering delicious foods. Vegetarian foods are cooked during this festival and these are worth tasting even if anyone is not celebrating this festival.

Thekua is the main attraction among the foods that being made. Thekua is made with wheat flour, jaggery, coconut, and sugar, raisins cooked in pure ghee or refined oil. That mouth watering delicacy is beyond description of how awesome it tastes.

Rasia is another dish that’s offered to the Sun God. It’s made with rice, milk, water and jaggery.

Kasar is another dish on the list. It’s made by powdered rice as the main ingredient, jaggery, ghee and fennel seeds. It’s generally made as the part of the kosi ritual.

Puris are small round fried puffs that are made with wheat flour. It’s prepared in ghee during this special occasion. It is a very popular dish in the entire country in general.

Rice Kheer is an offering to your taste buds. Made with Basmati Rice, Sugar, Milk, Ghee and other tasty ingredients, this lifts up the festive mood.

Other dishes include Malpua, Balushahi, Gulgule, Chhath Puja Prasad and much more.

Other Regional Names of Chhath

Chhath Puja is celebrated in different ways in different places. However the rituals are to some extent similar. It’s offering and worshipping the Sun God, the source and giver of energy and life force. 

The Chhath Puja is called by various names in different regions. Such as: Chhath Puja, Dala Chhath, Dala Puja, Chhati Puja, Surya Sasthi, Ravi Sasthi, Kartik Chhath, Katiki Chhath, Chaiti Chhath, Chhath Maiya Puja, Chaitra Chhath and so on. 

The name may vary, but the devotion remains the same. It’s the festival of peace, purity, seeking for wellness of body, mind, and soul of self and loved ones. 

The river Ganga is full of worshippers and devotees worshipping for wellness. It’s an amazing view to watch the power of love and devotion in the auspicious days of the Chhath Puja.



19 Nov 2018 03:38 PM

А классный авто прокат в аэропорту Симферополь, не кидалово!

Leave a comment: