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Chhath Puja 2017 - Chhathi Ceremony & its significance

Last Updated: 4/4/2017 10:20:57 AM

chhath, puja, surya, shashti, 2017, date

Chhath Puja is performed on Kartik Shukla Shashti, which is the sixth day of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar, exactly 6 days after Deepawali. Chhath puja 2017 date is October 26. This falls in the month of October or November usually. Chhath puja is celebrated twice in a year, it falls in the summer season as well in the month of March-April which is called as Chaiti Chhath but the former is more popular because winter is the usual festive season in North India, and Chhath, being an arduous observance, requiring the worshipers to fast without water for more than 24 hours. Chhath puja is also known as Chhath, Dala Chhath and Surya Shashti.

The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hindu mythology, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.

The chhath puja is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Basically this puja is popular in North Indian States like Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh but not very popular in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi. 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, and offering Prashad and Aragh to the setting and rising sun. This is the only holy festival where there is no involvement of Pandit during the span of four days of puja, all one needs to do it with complete dedication and purity. In this puja, the main worshippers are called Parvaitins, usually women. But men too observed this fast dedicatedly.

The four days of Chhath puja is named as:
Day 1 is named as Nahai Khai (bath and eat)
Day 2 is named as Kharna( the day before chhath)
Day 3 is named as Sandhya Argh (evening offerings)
Day 4 is named as Suryodaya Argh (morning offerings)

On the first day of puja, the worshippers take a dip in the holy river Ganga and take water to their home and clean their houses. The Parvaitins have only one meal in a day.

On the second day, the parvaitins observe a fast for the whole day, which ends in the evening a little after sunset. Just after the worship of earth, the offerings of Rasiao-kheer, puris and bananas are distributed among family. From this day onwards, for the next 36 hours, the parvaitin goes on a fast without water.

Third day is spent preparing the Prasad at home. In evening, the entire family accompanies the parvaitins to a river or a common large water body to make the Aragh to the setting sun.

On the final day of Chhath Puja, the devotees, along with family go to the riverbank before sunrise, in order to make Arghya to the rising sun. The festival ends with the breaking of the fast by the parvaitins and distributing prashad in family and friends.

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