One of the most celebrated and enjoyed festivals in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and some parts of India. The word “chhath” can be loosely translated as sixth. As per the Hindu calendar, Chhath Puja is celebrated on the sixth day of Kartik month. It is believed that observing fast on Chhath Puja and offering your prayers to Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiyya will bestow you with health, happiness and wealth. With the rising popularity of this festival, people across the globe are celebrating Chhath Puja with great zest and zeal.
Known as one of the toughest festivals, Chhat Puja rituals involve total abstinence from food and water for at least 30 hours. This year Chhath will be celebrated from 18th November 2020 to 21st November 2020.
What is the significance of Chhath Puja and Chhathi Maiyya?
Although this auspicious festival starts after four days from Diwali, the main enthusiasm and gusto is seen on the sixth day. Apart from worshipping Lord Surya, devotees also worship Chhathi Maiyya. As per mythological beliefs, Shashthi Devi or Chhathi Maiyya is known to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga.
This four-day long Chhath Puja starts on Kartika Shukla Chaturthi and ends with Kartika Shukla Saptami.
Nahay Khay (Day 1)
This day is marked as the beginning of Chhath Puja when devotees take bath in holy water bodies, clean their homes, cook vegetarian food.
Kharna (Day 2)
On the second day of the festival, devotees start observing fast right after taking shower in holy water. On this day, they abstain from eating food and drinking water but in the evening, they can eat gur (jaggery) kee kheer along with roti. This day is also known as rasiyaav roti.
Sandhya Arghya (Day 3)
On this day, all the devotees offer an arghya or tribute to the Lord Surya. For this day, devotees prepare a bamboo basket with seasonal fruits, sweets, thekua, and milk. In the evening, all the devotees offer water and milk to lord Surya and Chhathi Maiyya. As per the tradition, many folk songs are sung in the evening to praise both the creators, Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiyya.
Usha Arghya (Day 4)
This is the final and fourth day of this whole festivity when main puja is organized in the early morning. The vratins or devotees commence the puja after taking shower. They sing folk songs while waiting for Lord Surya to rise. Then the devotees offer arghya to the rising sun. It is believed that Chhathi Maiyya is the ultimate energy that protects every living being on earth. After the morning Puja, devotees distribute prasaad to all the members present. Then they break their fast by drinking kaadha and after that, they eat vegetarian food, called Paarana.
According to panchang.astrosage.com, the timings for this year’s Chhath Puja are as follows:
20 November (Sandhya Arghya) Sunset time: 17:25:26