Chhath Puja 2021: Mahaparva ‘Chhath’, a symbol of reverence, devotion and folk faith

Indian culture has two aspects – spirituality and festival festivals. Festivals keep us connected with each other’s traditions. Strengthens the feeling of mutual love and brotherhood. Festivals are the symbol of our Ganga Yamuna tehzeeb, the nurturer and protector of our culture.

Surya Shashthi Vrat Chhath Puja or Dala Chhath Puja is eagerly awaited by those people whose family members perform this fast. The preparations for organizing this great festival begin as soon as Durga Puja is over. Along with the planetary Sun, Shashti Mata is also worshiped in this fast. It is also known as Chhath Puja as it is celebrated on the Shashthi Tithi of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. This is the only festival which is worshiped, that sun is in front of us. In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and some parts of Nepal, this festival is of utmost importance. As people went to the places of the country or abroad to earn their living from these states, this great festival spread there. At this time, this festival is being seen in foreign countries as well.

This festival starts from the Chaturthi Tithi of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month and ends with offering Arghya to the rising Sun on the morning of Saptami Tithi. The fasting worshipers do worship and bhajan-kirtan without consuming food and water. Special care is taken of cleanliness and purity in this festival. The biggest feature of this great festival is that this festival gives the message of equality by eradicating the discrimination of rich-poor, high-low and caste. Everyone organizes it collectively. People have great faith in this festival. People observe this fast by wishing for the attainment of desired results along with family happiness, peace and progress and their wishes are also fulfilled.

There are many beliefs about the origin of this festival. Ayodhya King Dasharatha’s son was Shri Ram Suryavanshi. Surya was his guru. When Maryada Purushottam came back to Ayodhya after the Lanka conquest, he worshiped the sun by standing in the river Sarayu with Bhagwati Sitaji before ascending the throne. Seeing his idealistic king worshiping the sun, his subjects also started worshiping the sun.

Pandava’s wife Kunti and Danveer Karna are among the main characters of Mahabharata. Duryadhan, the Kaurava son, made Karna the king of Anga Desh (present-day Bhagalpur in Bihar) and befriended him. Along with being the father, Surya was also the adorable god of Karna. Although Karna used to regularly worship the Sun by bathing in the river and standing in the water and donating to the petitioners according to their wishes, but on the sixth day of the Shukla Paksha of Kartik month, he used to do special worship. Impressed by his sun worship, his subjects also started worshiping the sun. It is said that after the end of the Mahabharata war, Draupadi also worshiped the Sun, wishing the five Pandavas good health and long life. When the creator Prajapati Brahma would have created the universe, then first the sun, moon, stars and house-constellations would have been created. The night of the month of Kartik is the darkest, it is said that the sun must have been created to destroy this darkness and on the sixth day, Chhathi Maiya would have been worshipped.

During Chhath Puja, devotees sleep on the ground for four days. On the day of Chaturthi, the fasting people take pure sattvik food for self-purification. On this day some special things like rice, roti, gram dal, pumpkin vegetable are taken in the diet, in which onion, garlic etc. are prohibited. After spending the whole day without food and water on Panchami Tithi, in the evening, after offering Kheer (Jaggery) and bread and fruits, fasting is taken as prasad. Only after this the other members of the family take food. The fasting of the Vrati starts again which ends on the morning of Saptami. Apart from Thekua made of flour, jaggery and ghee, various types of fruits and sweets are also included in the prasad. On the evening of Shashthi, the fasting devotees go to a river or lake and offer the first Arghya to the setting sun. The process of filling Kosi is completed at night. Whether it is home or river or pond, melodious songs of Chhath are heard everywhere. The place of worship is decorated in an attractive and beautiful way. There is an atmosphere of joy and gaiety everywhere.

People start gathering at the place of worship from Brahma Muhurta on Saptami Tithi. The number of spectators is also not less. The spectators stand and wait for hours to witness the puja scene. The fasting women request the sun to rise through song. The wait ends. Lord Bhaskar informs about his arrival with his own redness. The second Arghya is offered to the Sun. Women pray to each other to remain married by applying vermilion. exchange prasad. It is believed that those who directly or indirectly cooperate in the organization of this fast, serve the fast, offer water, milk or sweets in the Arghya vessel of the fasting devotees, they also get blessings. Is. Some devout devotees go from their home to the place of worship in the posture of prostration when their vow is fulfilled or to fulfill the vow. After bathing there, they stand in the water for a long time and worship.

Impressed by the importance of Chhath Mahaparva, people of other states, different languages ​​and sects have also started to believe and do this worship. This great festival has spread its feet not only in the country but also in foreign countries. There is a saying that everyone worships the rising sun, but Chhath festival is an exception. Because in this the rising and setting sun is worshipped.

The sunrise and sunset time are of great significance because they represent the cycle of birth and death.

Chhath Puja 2021: dates and sunrise and sunset time

Day 1 – November 8- Nahay Khay

The first day (Chaturthi tithi of Kartika, Shukla Paksha) of the Chhath Puja is referred to as Nahay Khay. On this day, women dip in the Ganga or any other holy river/water body.

Sunrise – 6:38 AM
Sunset – 5:31 PM

Day 2 – November 9 – Karna

On the second day, i.e., on the Panchami Tithi, 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 the evening. On this day, women prepare sweets, mainly kheer as prasad.

Sunrise – 6:39 AM
Sunset – 5:31 PM

Day 3 – November 10 – Chhath puja

The third day of the festival is the main puja day, and it is called Chhath Puja (which is observed on Shashti Tithi). On this day, women offer Sandhya Arghya. Women observe a day-long fast and break it only on the following day after sunrise. On Chhath Puja day, women worship Chhati Maiya, the Sun God and his consorts Usha (Goddess of Dawn) and Pratyusha (the Goddess of Dusk).

Sunrise – 6:40 AM
Sunset – 5:30 PM

Day 4 – November 11 – Usha Arghya

Women, who observe the Chhat Puja vrat, break their fast (do the Parana) on the fourth day, i.e., on the Saptami Tithi. On this day, women offer their prayers and water to the Sun God.

Sunrise – 6:41 AM
Sunset – 5:29 PM

Read in Hindi: Chhath Puja 2021: श्रद्धा भक्ति और लोक आस्था का प्रतीक महापर्व ‘छठ’

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