Chhath Puja is a Hindu festival dedicated to the God Surya and Chhathi Maiya ( Goddess Usha – wife of Sun ).
The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth This festival is observed mainly by the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The Sun, considered as the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress.
In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.
Date of Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is celebrated on the sixth day of the month Kārtika of the Hindu lunar Nepali calendar.Six days after Diwali, the festival of lights.
Chhath Puja 2017 Dates
24th October 2017 – day of bath and eat-Nahay khay/Arwa Arwain
25th October 2017 – day of fast which ends after sunset after the 36 hour long fast- Lohanda and Kharna
26th October 2017 -day of Sandhya Argh known as the evening offerings- Sandhya Arghya
27th October 2017 – day of Suryodaya Argh and the Paran or breaking of the fast- Usha Arghya
Its scientific history dates back to the Vedic times. Rigveda contains hymns worshiping the Sun god and describes similar rituals.
In the ancient, Chhath puja were celebrated by Draupadi and Pandavas of Hastinapur for solving their instant problem and regaining their lost kingdom.
Another history behind celebrating the Chhath puja is the story of Lord Rama. It is considered that Lord Rama of and Sita had kept fast and offer puja to the Lord Sun in the month of Kartika in Shukla Paksh during their coronation after returning to the Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. From that time, chhath puja became the significant and traditional festival in the Hindu religion and started celebrating every year at the same date.
Chhath Puja Katha
There was a king named, Priyavrat and his wife Malini. They had no child. They decided to do a Yagya by the help of Maharishi Kashyap in order to be blessed with a child. Rani became pregnant because of the effect of Yagya. But she gave birth to a dead child after nine months. King was very sad and decided to take his life. Suddenly, there came a Goddess in front of him.Goddess said that, I am Goddess Khashti, if someone would offer puja to me with pure mind and soul, he would definitely get a child. The king, Priyavrat did the same and blessed with a very beautiful child. Since then, people started celebrating the chhath puja.
Watch Chhath Puja Katha :-
Rituals and Traditions of Chhath Puja
During Chhath Puja worshiper have to take holy bath and have to follow a period of abstinence and he/she become separate for 4 days from the main family. During this period, the worshiper observes purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket.The devotees offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then the rising sun in celebrating its glory as the cycle of birth starts with death.
With the rituals spanning over four days, Chhath is also considered one of the most difficult festivals. Those doing the puja, mostly women, have to go without food and water for long durations over these four days.
On the first day of Chhath Puja,which is called ‘nahan khan’ or ‘nahai khai’, the devotees take a dip, preferably in the river or pond and carry home water of the same river or pond .The water is used to prepare prasad (offerings) for the Sun God. The ladies observing the Vrata called vratin allow themselves only one meal on this day.
Day Two is Lohanda or Kharna, when the women observe a fast for the whole day, ending it only after sunset. And then begins another 36-hour tough fast during which they are not even allowed a sip of water.
On the day of Chhath, after preparing the prasad, worshipers take a holy dip in the water body in the evening and worship the Sun God and Chhathi Maiyya. The entire household, along with friends and acquaintances, accompany the women to the riverbank or pond as they offer ‘sandhya arghya’ (evening offerings) to the setting sun, with others singing folk songs meant for the occasion.
On the fourth day, devotees offer ‘Usha arghya’ (morning offerings) to the rising sun. It is only after this puja that the worshippers break their fast. The prasad is then distributed among family members and friends.
Happy and prosperous Chhath Puja – 2017 to All.