What is Chhath Puja and How to celebrate your first Chhath Puja?
The most well-known festival observed in Bihar, a state in northern India, as well as some areas of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, is Chhath Puja. The sixth day of the Hindu month of Kartika marks the start of the widely observed festival of Chhath. The centre of this celebration is the Sun God and Usha, his wife. This festival is observed to give thanks to God for maintaining life on Earth and to ask the almighty Sun god and his wife for their blessing. The sun is said to cure several illnesses and provide longevity, advancement, positivity, prosperity, and well-being in Hinduism. Furthermore, the true primary day of Chhath is the third day of Chhath Puja, not the first.
To celebrate this event, people adhere to a rigid schedule for four days. Fasting, Sun God prayers, holy baths, and water-based meditation are a few of the rituals and practises practised. One of the most well-known Indian festivals is observed in Bihar as well as many other Indian states and regions, including Jharkhand, eastern UP, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh. In some parts of Nepal, Chhath Pooja is celebrated. On the sixth day of the Karthika month, it is observed in the Vikram Samvat. Following Holi, Chhath Puja is also commemorated during the summer months, although the Chhath observed during the Kathika month is more important and is celebrated with greater fervour by the general people.
The History Chhath Puja
Chhath is a festival that emphasises holiness, devotion, and praying to the Sun God; its precise origin is unknown, but certain myths link it to the Hindu epics. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the two epics that are associated with Chhath Puja.
Ramayana's Relationship with Chhath Puja
The origin of Chhath Puja is thought to have something to do with Lord Rama. According to legend, Lord Rama and his wife Sita observed a fast in praise of the Sun God when they got back to Ayodhya, and they only broke it when the sun was setting. One of these rituals has evolved into Chhath Puja in recent years.
Mahabharata Relationship with Chhath Puja
Renowned Mahabharata figure It is said that Kunti and Pandav have a child with the ashirwad of the Sun God and the child is named Karna. According to legend, Karna used to frequently offer prayers while standing in the sea. A different tradition, however, claims that Draupadi and the Pandavas performed a similar puja to retake their crown.
Significance of Chhath Puja in science
Participating in Chhath Puja is the best approach to detoxifying your body as bathing in water and exposure to sunshine both increase the flow of solar bioelectricity, which improves the operation of the human body. Additionally, it is asserted that Chhath Puja helps to fight harmful microorganisms and gets the body ready for the impending winter.
Rituals Related to Chhath Puja
Chhath is a four-day festival that begins four days after the well-known Indian festival of Diwali. This year, Chhath Puja 2022 will take place in the month of October. The list of Chhath rituals that are performed during Chhath Puja is shown below.
Chhath Puja's first day: Nahay Khay Chhath
From the Nahay-Khay, Chhath Puja
Begins. The vrati ladies take a morning wash before cleaning the grain for the puja material and drying it by draping it in the sun. During the washing and drying of grains, cleanliness is taken care of. Women retake their baths after this. Since that time, not only the vrati women but also their families have begun to consume satvik food. On this day, Kaddu Bhaat and Channa dal are frequently prepared, and they are both cooked on a mud stove using mango wood and mud or bronze cookware. All worshippers only eat once per day afterwards Vrati begins the waterless fast after eating around midday and it is only broken the next evening while performing "Kharna" on the second day of Chhath Puja.
The second day of Chhath Puja:Kharna
Kharna is the name of Chhath puja's second day. Devotees observe Vrat for approximately 8 to 12 hours on Kharna. Devotees observe a full-day fast on this day, breaking it only in the evening after the Sun is worshipped. After completing Surya Puja in the evening, people break their fast. In the puja, they provide Rasiao-kheer, puris, and fruits.
The third day of Chhath Puja: Sandhya Arghya
The third day is similarly marked with a waterless fast, and the entire day is devoted to making offerings for the puja. The offerings (prasad) are later kept in a bamboo tray. The prasad contain thekua, coconut bananas, and other seasonal fruits. The third day's evening ceremonies are carried out along the margins of a river, pond, or other body of clear water. Every devotee offers "araghya" to the setting sun.
The fourth day of Chhath Puja: Bihaniya Arghya
On the final day of Chhath Puja, worshippers gather once again beside a river or other body of water and give prayers and food to the rising Sun. When the offerings are finished, the devotees break their fast by eating ginger, sugar, or whatever else that is locally available. After all these rituals, the wonderful Chhath Puja festival comes to an end.
Unique & Interesting Facts About Chhath Puja
- The only Vedic festival observed in India is Chhath Puja.
- More than one Mahabharata character is connected to Chhath Puja and the Hindu epic Ramayana is also related to Chhath pooja.
- The only Hindu festival where every festival ceremony has a scientific justification and all of them taken together reflect a rigorous scientific cleansing process is Chhath Puja.
- Chhath Puja is designed in a way that promotes calcium and vitamin D absorption at their peak levels, which is especially advantageous for women.
- Chhath Puja also aids in boosting the body's immunity.
- The four days of Chhath Puja provide the devotees with tremendous mental advantages. Chhath Puja removes bad energy like hatred, fear, and rage while calming the psyche of devotees.
- Both ancient Egyptian civilisation and Babylonian civilizations used the ritual of praying to the Sun God.
Visit These Famous Sun Temples During Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is all about honouring the Sun God, and to commemorate this wonderful festival, you may also visit some of India's well-known Sun Temples. The list of Sun Temples that are open on Chhath Puja is shown below.
1. Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha
One of India's well-known Sun Temples is the in the Konark. It was constructed in the 13th century and draws a large number of tourists each year during Chhath Puja.
2. Sun Temple in Modher, Gujarat
The Sun Temple in Modhera is a well-known Sun temple that is well-known for its historic construction and religious significance. The main hall (gudhamandapa), assembly hall (sabhamandapa), and kunda are the three primary parts of this temple (reservoir). During the Chhath festival, people flock to this other well-known temple.
3. Sun Temple, Ranchi
The main attraction in this state is the Sun Temple in Ranchi, which receives a massive influx of visitors during Chhath Puja. This well-known Sun temple is constructed so that it resembles a massive chariot that is lavishly ornamented with 18 wheels and seven horses. In addition, the pond of this shrine is revered as well.
4. Dakshinaarka Sun Temple in Gaya, Bihar
It is an old shrine that honours the Sun God. Hindus are also known for presenting Pind Daan to the dead at this pilgrimage site.
5. Sun Temple in Katarmal, Uttarakhand
The Sun Temple in Katarmal is another well-known temple that devotees can visit during Chhath Puja.
6. Sun Temple, Gwalior
This Sun temple is a genuine architectural marvel that draws many visitors each year. This temple's red sandstone and white marble add to its attractiveness. However, during Chhath Puja, devotees might go to this beautiful Sun temple.