Updated: November 14, 2018 7:46:22 am
Chhath Puja 2018 Date in India: Chhath Puja is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god or Surya Dev and his wife Goddess Usha. It is an important Hindu festival that is mainly celebrated in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and certain regions of Nepal. During this period, devotees perform puja to thank the divine couple for blessing the earth with their light and for supporting life on earth. This time, Chhath Puja will begin on November 11 and end on November 14.
People celebrate the festival by following a rigorous routine that lasts four days. It includes fasting for over 36 hours which also requires abstinence from drinking water. It also requires devotees to take a holy bath in a water body, and offer prayers to the rising and setting sun.
History of Chhath Puja
It is believed that the celebration of Chhath puja may predate to the ancient Vedas, as the rituals performed during the puja are similar to the ones mentioned in Rig Veda, in which the Sun god is worshipped. According to legend, the rishis (sages) were known to worship the Sun and remain without food as they would obtain their energy directly from the sun.
Another legend associates it with Lord Rama. According to ancient texts, Rama and his wife Sita had kept fast and offered prayers to the Sun god, in the month of Kartika in Shukla Paksha, once they returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. From then on, Chhath Puja became a significant and traditional Hindu festival, which is celebrated with zeal and zest every year.
Here are the details of the four days of Chhath:
Nahay Khay: On the first day of Chhath Puja, devotees take a dip, preferably in the Kosi river, Karnali and Ganga, and carry home the holy water to prepare the offerings.
Lohanda: On the second day, devotees observe a fast for the whole day, which ends in the evening, a little after sunset. After worshipping the Sun and the Moon, they prepare offerings of kheer, bananas and rice for their family. After consuming the offering, they fast for 36 hours without water.
Sandhya Arghya (evening offerings): After preparing the prasad, the devotees take a dip in the holy water body in the evening and worship the Sun god and Chhathi maiyya. They offer the evening offerings amid folk songs.
Usha Arghya (morning offerings): On the fourth day, devotees go to the holy water and offer morning offerings or ‘Usha arghya’ to the sun, following which they break their fast.
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