Chhath Pooja, a four-day festival has been in existence since the Vedic times when the sun god, Surya was the supreme deity among all the gods. This festival considered as the gratitude given back to god Surya for all year growth in agriculture. A nature-based festival has celebrated mostly in Bihar and eastern UP along with Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam.
Why Chhath pooja is celebrated?
Chhath Pooja is a festival dedicated to god Surya and chhati maiya, Usha. This festival comes on Kartik month and rituals performed on the sixth day after Diwali. A whole package of festivals in a single month!
Every Hindu festival is empty without its unique feature in its custom and rituals. Chhath Pooja is also a festival of some great and contrasting ceremonies. Women who keep fast known as Vratis and they gather on Chhath Ghats to grant their offering and blessing to deity Surya. People come a long way to rest in the night so they can contribute in bathing ritual before sunrise.
The story behind Chhath pooja
Chhath means Six in Maithili, Magahi & Bhojpuri languages because the main festival occurs after 5 days of Deepavali i.e., the Sixth day, that’s why the name Chhath. Chhath Puja starts from the fourth day of Diwali.
The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, standing in water for long periods of time, offering to the setting and rising sun. So what is the story for all of this?
According to the legends the Chhath puja is the story of Lord Rama. Some can say this the real diwali for central eastern states. It is considered that Lord Rama of Ayodhya and Sita of Mithila had kept fast and offer puja to the Lord Sun in the month of Kartika in Shukla Paksh. All these preparation and devotion were dedicated to lord surya for safe journey and victory over evil during their exile of 14 years.
For Chhath pooja vrat katha, please click on the link below
Vrat katha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZKxy3fNtg0
How Chhath pooja is performed?
An eco-friendly festival with lots of love and popularity among the Hindus starts with Nahay- Khay and follow by Lohanda and Kharna, Sandhya Arghya and Usha Arghya is the ending day of this four-day festival.
On the first day of Chhath puja, the devotees take a dip, preferably in the river and carry home the holy water to prepare the offerings. The house and surroundings are beautifully cleaned. The ladies (Vratin) allow themselves only one meal on this day.
Lohanda and Kharna
On the second day of Chhath puja, the day before Chhath, the Vratins keep a fast for the whole day, which ends in the evening a little after sunset. Just after the worship of Sun and moon, the offerings of Kheer, chappatis and bananas are distributed among family and friends. The Vratins go on a fast without water for 36 hours after 2nd-day evening Prashad.
This day is spent preparing the Prasad at home. On the eve of this day, the entire household accompanies the Vratins to a riverbank, pond or a common large water body to make the offerings to the setting sun.
During this phase of Chhath puja that the devotees offer prayers to the just setting sun. The occasion is almost a carnival. Besides the Vratins, there are friends and family, and numerous participants all willing to help and receive the blessings of the worshipper. The folk songs are sung on the evening of Chhath.
Also known as Dusra Araghya. On the final day of Chhath Puja, the devotees, along with family and friends, go to the riverbank before sunrise, in order to make the offerings to the rising sun. The festival ends with the breaking of the fast by the Vratins. Friends, Relatives visit the houses of the devotees to receive the Prasad.
Festivals are not only the symbol of religious faith and devotion but it contributes to society in many ways. Everyone is busy in their lives but they all come home from far places because these festivals guide us towards the righteous way to understand the true meaning behind it and play the role of togetherness, love and community.
Happy Chhath to all of you.
Here are some beautiful and interesting Bhojpuri songs for the celebration of Chhath Pooja.
Chhath pooja song 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnF8Zdd1WZU
Chhath pooja song 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POE0EX76fAI
Chhath pooja song 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG8F-csoRAQ
Chhath pooja song 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSQI61ilOsM
Chhath pooja song 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3PMFpftpbg