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Chhath Puja 2021 | History, Significance & Celebration

Chhath Puja is ancient Hindu festival uniquely associated with the powerful Lord Sun and Chhathi Maiya. It is the only Vedic festival dedicated to Lord Sun. This festival is unique to the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and the country of Nepal.

chhath puja 2021
Chhath Puja 2021
The festival is being celebrated not only in India but across the world. The festival has many names such as Chhath Parva, Chhath Puja, Dala Chhath, Dala Puja, and Surya Shashthi

 

What is Chhath Puja?

Chhath is one of the important festivals of North India. Chhathi Maiya is known to be the sister of Lord Sun. Sun is supposed to be the source of all powers, energy, and life. Lord Sun is worshipped in order to promote the well-being, development, and prosperity of human beings. Know more about the Sun festival in India.


Through this festival, people aim towards thanking the Sun God for a period of four days, the devotees who observe the fast during this festival is called Vrati.


The festival comes twice a year but Kartik Chhath is celebrated with much pomp and excitement. If you want to know more continue reading.

 

Why the festival is named 'Chhath'?

Chhath is a Hindi word. Chhath means ‘six’. Since the festival is celebrated on the sixth day of Kartika month, the festival is named as the same. On the occasion of Chhath Puja, Mela (Indian Fair) is organized at various places in India. Here is the list of Indian Fair or Mela you should know about. 

Know About 100+ Traditional Indian Fair (Mela)


Chhath Puja 2021 Dates

Chhath Puja is celebrated over four days. But the main Chhath puja is on 20 November. Here is the date list of Chhath puja 2021.


 

CHHATH PUJA 2021

 

S.N.

DATE

DAY

RITUAL

1st Day

8 November 2021

Monday

Nahay-Khay

2nd Day

9 November 2021

Tuesday

Lohanda and Kharna

3rd Day

10 November 2021

Wednesday

Sandhya Argh

4th Day

11 November 2021

Thursday

Suryodaya/Usha Argh and Paran

                                                     

Chaiti Chhath & Kartik Chhath

The Chhath Puja is being celebrated over four days and twice a year. Once in the summers and is known as Chaiti Chhath and the second time during the winters and is known as Karthik Chhath. Let us know in detail.


Karthik Chhath

Karthik Chhath commences in the Kartik month according to the Hindu calendar, precisely six days following the Festival of Lights - Diwali. It generally falls during the month of October or November.


Chaiti Chhath

"Chaiti Chhath" is held after Holi in the month of Chaitra, somewhere between March and mid-April.


It is also celebrated during the summers and is commonly known as Chaiti Chhath. This is celebrated a few days after Holi. Know more about the Indian Festival Holi


Chhath Puja History | Why is Chhath Puja Celebrated?

The history of Chhath Puja dated back to the early Vedic Period. There are many stories related to the origin of Chhath Puja.


According to the stories, this Puja was first started by Surya Putra Karna who ruled over the Anga Desh (now Bhagalpur in Bihar) during the age of Mahabharata.


It is believed that in the ancient times, Chhath Puja was celebrated by Draupadi and the Pandavas of Hastinapur in order to solve their problems and regain their lost kingdom.


The mantras from the Rig Veda texts are chanted while worshipping the sun.


Legend says that the sages and rishis of that era used this method in order to restrain from any external means of food and gain energy directly from the rays of the sun.


Significance of Chhath Puja

Hindu festival and rituals are closely attached with science. Like other Hindu festivals and rituals, Chhath puja also have its scientific importance.


On the day of Chhath Puja, devotees generally pray at the riverbank during sunrise or sunset. It is scientifically proved with the fact that solar energy has the lowest level of the Ultraviolet radiations during these two timings and it is really beneficial for the body.


Devotees keep fasts during Chhath puja. Keeping fast during Chhath puja is not easy. Not a single drop of water is allowed to drink during fasting. This helps to bring back our mind and body in peaceful state. Keeping fast also make the body free from negative energies. This traditional festival showers upon you positivity and helps in detoxifying your mind, soul, and body


Four Days of Chhath Puja

Since the festival is celebrated over four days, each day has its own importance.

The first day is known as Nahay-Khay.

The second day is known as Lohanda and Kharna.

The third day is known as Sandhy Argha.

The fourth day is known as Usha Arghya.

Let us know in detail.


Nahay Khay- First Day of Chhath Puja

The word ‘Nahay Khay’ is originated from Local language “Bhojpuri” of Bihar and Purvanchal religion in Uttar Pradesh. The Meaning of Nayah Khay means “Bath and Eat”.


Nahay Khay is the like guidelines to prepare our mind and body peaceful and purified before the actual puja. On the first day of the Chhath Puja, the devotees have to take bath in the holy river.


 The person has to cook a proper meal for themselves on this day. “Kaddu-Bhaat” along with “Channa Daal” is a common preparation on this day.


There is also some restriction to cook food by using mud or bronze utensils. You have to cook food on a mud stove by burning dry mango wood pieces.


The ladies observing the fast can allow themselves only one meal on this day.

Lohanda and Kharna- Second Day of Chhath Puja

On the second day, the devotees are to observe a fast for the entire day, which they can break just a while after sunset.


The Parvaitins cook the whole Prasad on their own which include Kheer (a Special type of dish) and chapatis. They break their fast with this Prasad, after which they have to fast without water for 36 hours.

Sandhya Arghya- Third Day of Chhath Puja

The third day is spent by preparing the Prasad at home and then in the evening, the entire household of the Vratins accompany them to the riverbank, where they make offerings to the setting sun

.

The females generally wear Sarees of turmeric yellow colour while making their offerings. The evenings are made even better with the enthusiastic folk songs.

Usha Arghya- Fourth Day of Chhath Puja

Here, on the final day, all the devotees go to the riverbank before sunrise to make offerings to the rising sun.


This festival ends when the Vratins break their 36 hours fast (called Paran) and the relatives come over to their house to have their share of Prasad

 

Chhath Puja Preparation

Chhath puja is considered as important festival in India. As the festival gets closer the preparation can be seen at various levels.


Government Preparations- Chhath Puja

To facilitate the activities and rituals, the central government, state government, and local administration make clear plan to maintain law and order and offers full support, as all the ghats of the rivers and roads need to be kept spotlessly clean while the whole city is illuminated.


Chhath Ghat preparations- Chhath Puja

The Chhath ghat at the river bank is properly cleaned and decorated with LED lights. Soundbox is arranged for cultural programs and song play. Local admiration release advisory to not enter dip in the water to ensure safety. A temporary boundary is made with bamboo or metal rods. Boats are kept ready for any emergency situation.


Home Preparation- Chhath Puja

Homes are properly cleaned. All family members purchased or arrange new traditional clothes. Fruits and other food items are purchased for the Chhath puja rituals. All the puja items are collected before the moving to ghat.


People dress up in traditional clothes and throng the banks before sunrise, to witness the 'arghya'.

Food During Chhath Puja

Chhath puja is a special festival covering a variety of food in the ritual. Fruits, cooked food and Sugarcanes are main food prasad for Chhath Puja.


The Chhath Prasad is traditionally prepared with rice, wheat, dry fruits, fresh fruits, nuts, jaggery, coconut, and lots and lots of ghee. The food prepared for Chhath Puja is without salt, onion, and garlic.


Thekua, a type of food cooked with whole wheat flour is special part of the Chhath Puja. You must surely try it if you visit the place during the festival.

 

Chhath Puja Rituals

The rituals mainly comprise fasting and chanting prayers on the banks of the Ganges, Yamuna or any clean river.


As tradition goes, after offering the 'arghya' at sunset, devotees and their relatives sing 'geet' and hyms dedicated to Lord Surya.


Devotees pay obeisance to the Sun God by offering rice, sugarcane, home-prepared 'Thekua' or wheat cakes and various fruits in bamboo baskets or 'soop'.

 

Chhath Puja Celebration

Chhath Puja is unique to the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and the country of Nepal.


This festival celebrates and offers gratitude to Lord Surya who represents the permanent source of life and sustenance on this earth.


As the Sun God manifests his greatest power in the rising and setting sun, these two significant moments coincide with the two 'aragyas' or offering of river water to Lord Surya during the festival.


Chhath puja in Bihar is also associated with wish-fulfillment when a devotee carries out the rituals of the puja selflessly.


Chhath puja is overwhelmingly celebrated in Bihar and is now equally popular in Delhi which boasts of a massive Bihari migrant population.


Devotional songs are a significant part of the celebrations associated with Chhath puja.

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