Chhath Puja

Religion: Hindu
Country: India
Upcoming Chhath Puja is on 20 November 2020 (Friday)

Days Remaining in Chhath Puja 2020
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Chhath Puja is a festival of reverence to the sun god. It is a festival in which both the rising as well as setting sun is worshiped. This festival is celebrated in many Indian states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Chandigarh. But Chhath puja of Bihar is very famous where it is observed in very traditional manner and with full faith that Sun God fulfils wishes if 'araghya' is offered with complete dedication and devotion. Chhath puja is performed as a means to thank Sun god who is considered as the source of life on this earth and fulfiller of wishes. Chhath puja is performed on the on the sixth day of month of Kartika as per the Hindu calendar. Word Chhath denotes the number six. Hence the name Chhath Puja. The festival usually falls in the months of October-November as per the Gregorian calendar. Chhath is also called ‘Suryasasthi’ as it observed after the six days of Diwali.

Chhath Puja History

It is believed that Chhath puja might have its origins in the Vedic age because the Rigveda contains hymns worshipping Sun god and describes similar rituals. There are also references in the epic Mahabharata is which Draupadi is believed to have performed the Chhath vrath on advice of noble sage Dhaumya which solved her immediate problems and helped Pandavas regain their lost kingdom. Some also believe that the Chhath puja was started by Karna, the son of Surya.

How is Chhath Puja Celebrated?

Chhath is a festival of prayer and is purity observed with utmost reverence and strict discipline. Cleanliness is given the most importance. The festival is marked by celebrations that last for four days. On the first day devotees take a holy dip in any fresh water body at sunrise. Then the devotees are supposed to bring the holy water home to prepare ‘Prasad’ or offering. On the first day Parvaitin who is the major worshipper who observes all the rituals associated with the fast is allowed only one time meal of special components on the first day.

On the second day a fast is observed for the whole day and late in the evening, the devotees, after performing worship at home, break their fast. An offering of kheer and fruits is made to the sun god. Which are then shared among family and visiting friends and relatives. After this day the devotee or the parvaitin goes for a 36 hour long fast. Devotees maintain a very strict fast without even drinking water.

On the third the devotees spend the day preparing the Prasad. In the evening they visit the river bank and offer the Prasad to the setting sun. In the night another ritual is observed where under a canopy of sugar cane sticks, clay elephants containing earthen lamps and containers full of the offerings are placed.

On the fourth day before sunrise they visit the river bank again and offer prayers to the rising sun and then break their fast with the Prasad.

During chhath puja the house, streets and surroundings are kept clean. The food eaten during this puja is made without salt, onions or garlic and food is cooked in new bronze or earthen utensils.


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