First Day of Chhath Puja (Nahay-Khay)
Chhath Puja is prominent among states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Recent trends have shown that Chhath Puja is now celebrated across all states.
Nahay-Khay | First Day of Chhath Puja
On the day of Chhath Puja, women offer Arghya by fasting and offerings to the Sun god in knee-deep water.
Chhath Puja is celebrated twice a year. The month of Kartik (according to the Hindu calendar) consists of elaborate rituals.
Nahay – Khay Meaning
The word ‘Nahay Khay’ is originated from the Local language “Bhojpuri” of Bihar and the Purvanchal religion in Uttar Pradesh. The Meaning Nayah Khay means “Bath and Eat”.
Nahay Khay is the like guideline 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 cooking 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.
Significance of Nahay-Khay
This is the first day of the Chhath Puja celebration. People, who keep vrat, wake up early in the morning and worship first Lord Surya and then eat food.
The first day of Chhath puja is known as Nahaye-Khaye. The word refers to a bath and khay refers to eating. It observes in Shukla Paksha Chaturdashi of the Hindu month Kartik. After bathing in the morning the vrati women clean the grain for the puja material and dry it by covering it in the sun.
Cleanliness is taken care of during the washing and drying of grains. After this, the woman takes a bath once again. From this day, not only the vrati women but also their families start taking satvik food, Kaddu-Bhat (Pumpkin-Rice) along with Chana-Daal is common preparation on this day and it is cooked by using mud or bronze utensils and mango wood over a mud stove.
After worship, all these observations are eaten only once a day. After eating the food sometimes mid-noon, Vrati starts the waterless fast which is broken only the next day evening while observing ‘Kharna’ on the second day of Chhath puja.
Activities Performed on the First Day of Chhath Puja
- People first brush their teeth with mango twigs.
- Then they go to a holy water body like the river Ganga and take a bath.
- Some of the holy water is brought home.
- With that water, Prasad for lord Surya is prepared.
- During the entire day, people eat only before sunrise in the morning.
- After having food water is consumed only once.
- This fast is observed for 36 hours from then.
- The fast does not even permit water hence is known as ‘Nirjal’.