Updated: Jan 9, 2021
The four-day-long Chhath Puja begins Today, November 18. Chhath Puja is one of the greatest festival which is majorly celebrated in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and in parts of Nepal. The festivities begin with Nahay Khay, followed by Kharna on Day 2. The main puja revolves around the Sun God and devotees worship him during sunset and sunrise. To thank the Sun Lord for sustaining life on Earth, devotees observe fast, offer their prayers and conclude the puja by worshipping Chhathi Maiya.
DAY ONE : NAHAY KHAY
Just after Diwali, on the Chaturthi Tithi (fourth day) of the Shukla Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik begins the Chhath festivities with Nahay Khay or Kaddu Bhaat.
On this day, the devotees who are keeping fast (aka vrat) wakes up early and take a bath and wear fresh/new/clean clothes. After taking a bath, devotees do Sankalpa (take a pledge) that they would observe the vrat with devotion and sincerity. Then they take the blessings of the Gods and Chhati Maiya for a successful vrat.
After that, they prepare a proper meal for themselves. They prepare Kaddu Bhaat along with Channa dal and eat the first and the only meal of the day. The prasad is cooked by using mud or bronze utensils and mango wood over a mud stove.
DAY TWO : KHARNA
Kharna has to happen on the next day of Nahai Khay. Devotees celebrate Kharna, by observing Nirjala vrat (fasting without drinking even a drop of water) from sunrise to sunset. They break their fast only after offering their prayers to the Sun God during sunset.
On this day, people prepare kheer with rice and jaggery and rice pits and ghee roti are distributed as khai prasad. Devotees break their fast only after offering their prayers to the Sun God during sunset.
DAY THREE : SANDHYA ARGHYA
On the third day of Chhath, preparations are made for evening worship. On this day an Arghya is offered to the sun god during the Kartik Shukla Shashthi.
In the evening, a bamboo basket is decorated with fruits, thekua and rice laddus, after which devotees offer an Arghya to the sun with their families.
At the time of Arghya, water and milk is offered to Sun God and the Chhathi Maiya is worshiped from a soop filled with prasad. After the worship of Sun God, Shashthi Devi songs are sung in the night and the vrat katha is heard.
Then after the Puja, the preparations for the next morning’s worship begin.
DAY FOUR : USHA ARGHYA
Chhath ends with morning argh on the fourth day. On the last day of Chhath puja in the morning, an Arghya is offered to the Sun God. On this day, before sunrise, the devotees have to go to the riverbank to offer an Arghya to the rising sun.
After this, the devotees worship before the sun and chhathi maiya for the protection of their children from any wrong.
After worship, devotees drink sharbat and raw milk, and eat a little prasad in order to break one’s fast which is called Paran or Parana.
Chhath is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival historically native to the Indian subcontinent, more specifically, the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and the Madhesh region of Nepal.
The Chhath Puja is dedicated to the solar deity Surya and Shashthi devi (Chhathi Maiya) in order to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The festival does not involve idolatry and is dedicated to worship the Chhathi Maiya (Shashthi Mata) and sun God Surya along with his consorts Usha and Pratyusha the Vedic Goddess of Dawn and Dusk respectively. It is believed that the main sources of Sun's powers are his wife Usha and Pratyusha. In Chhath, there is combined worship of both the powers along with the Sun.
That's all from my side for today's post. May the Sun God shower you with his choicest blessings and make you beam with joy. Happy Chhath Puja to you and your family. Stay Blessed.