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Chhath Puja 2022: Four-day celebration across India

During this festival, devotees take a dip in the holy water, chant mantras, and worship the Sun God, his wife Usha or Chhathi Maiya, nature, water, and wind.

SNS | New Delhi |

Four-day Chhath puja celebration began on Friday in different parts of the country with the traditional Nahay Khay ceremony. The festival is usually celebrated in the Northern part of the country (Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and parts of Odisha and Nepal).

Chhath festival marks the worship of the Sun God through the offerings from the seasonal harvest. Devotees take a dip in the holy water, chant mantras, and worship the Sun God, his wife Usha or Chhathi Maiya, nature, water, and wind.

Purity is of utmost importance. Devotees need to take the holy bath and follow a period of abstinence or self-restraint. They sleep on the floor for four days of the festival.

Chhath also transcends the rigid restrictions of the caste system as members from the Dom community prepare baskets that all devotees use to carry offerings and puja material. And through this, it promotes equality and fraternity.

Each devotee, regardless of her class or caste, prepares similar offerings. Spreading the idea of communal harmony, Muslims also take part in the Chhath festival.

One can track the references of Chhath Puja in the Rig Veda. A few mantras from the Rig Veda texts are chanted by worshippers while offering prayers to the Sun. It is believed that sages from the Vedic era used to perform puja by exposing themselves to direct sunlight.

It is believed that when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, he and his wife, Sita, observed a fast in honor of the Sun god and broke it only with the setting sun. On the other hand, Karna, the child of the Sun God and Kunti, was said to offer prayers while standing in the water. Karna ruled over the Anga Desh, which is the modern-day Bhagalpur in Bihar. Draupadi and the Pandavas are also believed to have performed Chhath puja to get their kingdom back.

This festival is celebrated for the wellness and prosperity of the family and is commonly done by the Women of the family, but sometimes many men are also seen performing this puja.

The- four-day festival begins with Naha- Khaya in which various ingredients such as pumpkin, moong-chana dal, and bottled gourd. Chawal (rice), chana dal (split Bengal gram) and lauki (bottle gourd) are a must on the menu of the devotees. On Day 2, devotees make a special prasad called Rasaio-Kheer (with jaggery and arwa chawal). On day 3, Vratis prepare a special sweet dish, Thekua, with jaggery, ghee, and flour, which is offered as a prasad to Chhathi Maiya.

Here are some of the sweets which are prepared for Chhath Puja 2022.

Thekua

Thekua is the most popular prasad during Chhath Puja. It is made from ghee, wheat flour, dry fruits, and sugar. The ingredients are made into a dough, which is later shaped into small tikkis and deep-fried. It is offered to Lord Sun during the puja.

Kaddu bhaat

One will surely have water in their mouth after seeing this tempting dish. This amazing sabzi is most popular in Chhath. It is made with Kaddu (pumpkin/Lauki(Bottle Gourd) with Himalayan salt or sendha namak and cooked in ghee. It can be eaten with fried poori or rice.

Rice Kheer

Rice kheer is traditionally known as Rasiyaw. Instead of sugar, people use jaggery (gud) while making it. It is prepared by putting rice, water, and some milk in a pan and cooking it till it achieves the desired consistency.

(With Inputs from ANI)

Some Glimpses of the Chhath Puja celebration in Delhi:

Chatth Puja preparation shopping at Sonia vihar on nahay khay, in the capital on Friday (Photo credit: Subrata Dutta)

 

Chatth Puja preparation shopping at Sonia vihar on nahay khay, in the capital on Friday (Photo credit: Subrata Dutta)

 

Chatth Puja preparation shopping at Sonia vihar on nahay khay, in the capital on Friday (Photo credit: Subrata Dutta)