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Friday, June 21, 2024

Chhath Puja 2022: History, significance, Rituals and Procedure

Chhath puja is a famous festival for Hindus. It is Celebrated on the 6th day of Kartik month (According to Hindu Calendar )in  Bihar and some regions of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal.

Chhath puja is also known as Dala Chhath. Chhath pooja is a festival that is mainly observed as worship to lord Surya. The devotees who observe the fast during this festival are called Vratti.

In this festival devotees keep fast for  36 Hours, They do not even consume water. It is considered one of the toughest pujas.

The Four days Rituals of the Chhath Puja: 

Day 1:The first day of chhath puja is called” Nahay Khay”, it’s the day when the devotees take a holy bath in rivers, ponds, or any other water body, especially in the river Ganges.

Day 2:The Second day of chhath puja is known as “Kharna” on this day devotees cook “sweet Kheer” and take it as a Prasad. On the midnight of kharna, people prepare thekua- a special Prasad for chhathi Maiya.

Day3:The third day of chhath puja is called” Sandhya Arghya” On this day people offer ‘’Arghya” to the setting sun. In the evening all family members with vratti gathered at the bank of the river. bhakti songs are sung that show the social culture of India.

Day4:The fourth day is called “Usha Arghya” On this day People make “Arghya”  to the rising sun and complete their fast. After returning from the ghat, Vratti breaks their 36 hours long fast by taking ginger and water. After that delicious food is prepared for vratti which is called Paran or Paran.

History of Chhath Puja:

According to the Scriptures, chhath puja was started during the Ramayan. After killing Ravan, when lord ram and Sita returned from their exile to Ayodhya, they observed this fast.

In ancient times, Draupadi and the Pandavas of Hastinapura used to celebrate chhath puja for good health and to regain their lost kingdom.

As per another legend, Karna who is the son of Surya dev was an ardent devotee of the sun god. He used to offer obligations while standing in water for hours.

Sages of the vedic period are also used to perform the chhath puja by exposing themselves to direct sunlight to gain energy from the rays of the sun and not consume any eatables.

Fasting Rules of Chhath Puja:

  • The fast of Chhath Puja is of Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya, so it is necessary to worship the Sun daily and remember the Sixth Maiya.
  • The Chhath Puja fast is the most difficult because Nirjala and Nirahar are observed.
  • Chhath Puja starts with Nahay Khay, it is a rule to eat sattvic food. The fast is broken by eating garlic onions. The fruits of this fast will not be accepted. Surya Dev and Chhathi Maiya will also not be happy.
  • Rock salt is used in any salty food or dish you prepare during the Chhath Puja fast. The use of common salt is prohibited.
  • A new bamboo basket is used to keep prasad in Chhath Puja. Do not use old baskets in it. Similarly, soup or thaal is used at the time of worship, it should also be new.
  • Whoever is fasting is forbidden to sleep on a bed. He can sleep by placing a mat on the ground.
  • The house should be thoroughly cleaned before starting the Chhath Puja fast. Only then bathe and make prasad or food.
  • Chhath Puja prasad should be prepared on a clay stove. Apart from the place of food, chhath puja prasad is made.
  • It should be remembered that the offering of prasad should be given to someone only after using it on the sixth Maiya. If one has eaten before, then the prasad is considered false.
  • In Chhath Puja prasad, thekua is definitely made as it is very dear to Chhathi Maiya.
  • A person fasting for Chhath Puja should wear new clothes.
  • Self-control is also tested by fasting and worship. Stay away from negative things in these four days. Don’t be angry with anyone, and don’t think badly of anyone. Observe the rules of celibacy.
  • On the third day of Chhath Puja when evening Arghya is given, at that time putting kasar i.e. rice laddoo, fruits, thekua, etc. in bamboo soup, and offering water to the setting sun.
  • Hear the folk song and story of Chhathi Maiya on Sandhya Arghya night of Chhath Puja. The next day Usha offers arghya.
  • After offering Usha Arghya to the Sun, the Chhath Puja fast is completed by taking prasad.

Scientific Significance of Chhath Puja:

Chhath Puja is the best way to cleanse your body as taking a dip in water and exposing the body to the sun increases the flow of solar bio-electricity which improves the functionality of the human body.

Chhath Puja helps in killing harmful bacteria and prepares the body for the upcoming winter season.

This year Chhath Puja is being celebrated from 28 October to 31 October 2022, with Surya Shashthi (the main day) falling on 30 October 2022.

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