SunstarTV Bureau: India being a land of diverse culture and tradition, celebrates thirteen festivals in twelve months. Today India rejoices in celebration of Chhat Puja.
Chhath Puja, primarily celebrated in Bihar, some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and certain regions of neighboring Nepal. This Puja is dedicated to the worship of the God Sun or Surya Dev and his sister Shashti Devi. As such, it is an important and joyous Hindu festival.
Chhat Puja is also widely known as ‘Surya Shashti’, ‘Chhath’, ‘Chhathi’, ‘Chhath Parv’, ‘Dala Puja’ and ‘Dala Chhath’. Devotees celebrate the festival by following a rigorous routine of four days. It includes fasting for over 36 hours — sometimes without even drinking water. On the day, devotees take a holy bath in a water body and offer prayers to the rising and the setting sun. But due to ongoing Covid pandemic, this year government has banned mass bathing at numerous places.
Devotees perform a puja to express their gratitude to the God Sun for blessing us with sunlight, which is the source of all earthly life form.
It is also widely believed the celebration may predate to the Vedas, since the rituals performed during the puja are similar to the ones mentioned in Rig Veda.
Another legend associated with it, is that of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. She had kept a fast and had offered prayers to the Sun God, in the month of Kartik in Shukla Paksha, upon their return to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. From there only, Chhath Puja became a symbolic festival celebrated with much joy and devotion every year.