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October 26, 2017
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Chhath is an ancient festival celebrated each year after Diwali. The festival is dedicated to Sun, the God of energy. Chhath is also known as Dala Chhath or Surya Shashti. During Chhath celebration people offer thanks to the Lord Surya for blessing the life on the earth and pray for the well-being, success, and progress of their family and friends.
When Is It Celebrated?
Chhath is celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali, for a period of four days. At some place, Chaiti Chhath is also celebrated few days after Diwali in the month of Chaitra (March or April). The festival named as Chhath because it is celebrated on the 6th day of the month of Kartika (October or November).
How It Is Celebrated?
People on this day wake up early in the morning and take a holy bath in the Gange. They observe fast for a whole day, even they do not drink a drop of water. People keep themselves standing in the water for a long time and offer Prasad and Aragh to the rising sun. It is celebrated in the various states of India like Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, and Nepal.
Chhath is considered as one of the most difficult festivals. In some states, women observe fast for log duration of four days. On the first day, called ‘nahan khan’, the devotees take a dip in a river in the early morning and carry home water from the same river. The water is used to prepare Prasad for the God Sun. The house and its surroundings are cleaned. These devotees have only one meal on this day. Day Two is called ‘lohanda’, when the women observe a fast for the whole day, end it after sunset. With this another 36-hour tough fast begins, during which they are not even allowed to have a drop of water.
On the day of Chhath, after preparing the prasad, they take a holy dip in the river or water pond in the evening and worship the Sun God and Chhathi Maiya. The whole family, friends, and relatives accompany the women to the water body as they offer ‘sandhya arghya’ to the setting sun, with others reciting folk songs meant for the occasion.
After this, the devotees break their fast. The Prasad mainly consist of fruits and sweets are then distributed among family members, friends, and relatives.