One of the most prestigious festivals of the Indian Subcontinent which is widely and mostly celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and other nearby states. Chhath Puja is a festival of sacrifice and dedication in which women of the house keep fasting and they keep standing in cold water in the morning and evening waiting for sunrise and sunset.
There are many things and many stereotypes about the festival and many unanswered questions too which will be answered and clarified in the article. The best part about the festival is that Chhath Puja is a festival of Hindu Mythology but there many Muslims too which celebrate the festival as the festival has very deep importance.
This ancient festival is celebrated for four days and these days include the preparation and all the rituals. On this day devotees pray to God Sun and his sister “Chhati Ma” and in order of well being of the family they keep fasting and they present water to Sun on its sunrise and sunset.
This festival can be also termed as one of the most difficult festivals as the fasting on this day doesn’t even allow having water, the Puja is time-consuming and ladies have to wait hours before of sunrise and they have to keep the stand in the cold water. The same is repeated in the evening, the ladies reach to the nearby water bodies and they present water to the sunset. The festival is celebrated for four days with many other rituals and Puja which will be explained further in the article.
Every year the starting date and ending date of Chhath Puja changes as per the Hindu calendar and Chhath Puja 2019 date will be 1st of November, Saturday. But the preparation starts before the actual start date as the festival involves a lot of cleanliness and sanitization. People has to clean their home and also the place where the puja will be done which is any nearby water bodies.
What is Chhath Puja?
The most important question is, “What is Chhath Puja”, there are many answers but the most practical answer will be that Chhath Puja is a Vedic festival of Hindu Mythology which is celebrated in order to receive energy from rays of the sun. It is also said that this festival is celebrated in order to get rid of all the problems and to regain the lost things like house, dignity, etc.
The word “Chhath” means the sixth in many languages and the reason is that it is celebrated on the sixth day of Kartik month of Hindu calendar. The Chhath has arrived for ancient Sanskrit word “sasthi” which also means sixth.
The first day of Chhath Puja is exactly stared just after four days of Diwali and it is celebrated for another four days. The festival involves a lot of engagement of Sun as the goddess of the festival is sister of Sun.
Devotes also sings Chhath Puja geet during the traveling from their home to water bodies, the songs involve thanking the god and calling them for the Puja. It is also said that the lyrics of the song involves all the problems and willingness and it also helps in being dedicated with the Puja.
The Puja is done with a large variety of vegetables and sugarcane plays important roles, ladies also prepare different kinds of sweets and other home-cooked stuff. People share Chhath puja wishes with each other and share blessings and good wills.
On the second day of Chhath Puja devotes prepare Kheer (An Indian sweet dish made up of rice and sugar) and Roti (Chapatti made up of wheat) and they keep fast for a whole day without water, they eat and drink only at night after praying moon. And this is only time they eat before starting the Chhath Puja and the other two day women are on a fasting. This is one of the reasons why Chhath Puja is called one of toughest festivals. But as said by devotes that this sacrifice and dedication playoff in many terms and all the wishes and willingness are completed.
Significance of the Festival
Chhath Puja is a very old festival and there have been many ancient people who celebrated this festival and witnessed its power.
Surya Putra or son of Sun, Karan is said to be the one who started the Chhath Puja as he gained all the power from the rays of Sun.
The festival is celebrated for many long times, from the time of Vedic India. In is said that rituals and importance of this festival have been mentioned in Rigveda, which is India’s one of the oldest book. Although the content of Rigveda doesn’t contain the exact name of the festival but it has a similar procedure which gives proof of the importance of the festival. And the ancient written history also contains many writings about witnessing the festival, it is said that in Mahabharata, Drapauti (an important character of great Mahabharata) also practiced Chhath Puja.
The written history has mentioned many who have celebrated this festival and witnessed its importance. The rulers of Indraprastha (Delhi) and their wife Drapauti performed the procedure and rituals of Chhath Puja, they also prayed to Sun and his sister and in return they won the great battle Mahabharata and received their kingdom back. With the prayer and dedication, they got rid of their immediate problems and regained their lost dignity, power and kingdom.
In Yogic times, the time before Ancient India, the Rishies used to keep stand in water and gain the energy from sun. There were many Rishies who didn’t require any food or any other physical requirements, all the nutrients and energy they used to take directly from the rays of the sun. And in Chhath puja women stay without food and water for two days and completely relay on rays on sun.
Also in Ramayana Goddess Sita performed the same ritual and in return, they got the kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of sacrifice.
There are many other stories about this great festival and after Navratri, this festival is said to be the biggest festival in India.
Some unknown facts about Chhath Puja
There are many unknown facts about this festival there are many Chhath Puja songs and Chhath Puja geet whose importance is not known to many. It is very important to sing Chhath Puja geet and songs as these songs works like an invitation for the goddess and this thing also helps in staying focused and dedicated with the Puja.
Also we want this Chhath Puja 2019 to be celebrated with knowing actual meaning of the festival and many unknown facts about it. There are many myths and stereotypes about the festival as well which will be clarified after knowing all the unknown facts about it.
This Festival is said to be only a Vedic festival and the importance of this festival has been mentioned in many ancient books like Rigveda.
Chhath Puja is the only festival that has been witnessed by more than two characters of the great battle of India, Mahabharata. At first, Son of Sun or Surya Putra Karan started the Puja knowing the power and importance of Sun. And later Drapauti and his husbands did this Puja in willingness to gain their lost empire. And at last, they got their lost dignity and kingdom.
This festival has many scientific reasons and benefits, after research the things have come forward that there are many benefits of the rituals of this festival. Scientists say that the fresh sun rays in the morning are rich in Vitamins and minerals. It provides strength to the body and a kind of meditation to the mind. There is solar bioenergy in the early sun rays and a particular mindset and physical condition is required to consume this energy and this Chhath Puja gives that mindset and physical condition to consume the optimum the energy. The rituals of the festival give perfect conditions to gain Vitamin D and Calcium which is great for the body.
Four days of this festival trains the body and human mind to tolerate the things and helps the organs to function with better performance. The ritual provides calmness to the mind and help t remove negative feeling like anger, hate and jealousy.
The biggest and most important fact that worshiping Sun as god is a tradition that was previously done by Egyptians and Babylonian civilizations. Also the festival is not only limited to India but there are many foreign countries who pray to Sun but with different names and rituals.
How to Celebrate Chhath Puja
The Puja starts with the cleaning part, all the surroundings are made clean and no dust and a single wrapper are left on the road as sanitization is a very important part of the festival.
The festival comes just after Diwali and hence the momentum help in making all the arrangements, there are Happy Chhath Puja hoardings in the roads for more awareness and information. Also the government helps in the puja for its smooth happening and there is a government holiday on this day.
Everyone shares happy Chhath Puja wishes with each other and the festival is started after five days of Diwali. The first day involves the preparation including sharing fruits and performing Chhath Puja geet and Chhath Puja songs. The woman gathers and discusses all the rituals and coming up with things.
The second day is celebrated with women fasting and Kheer and Roti is prepared. The fasting involves no water for the whole day and devotees break their fast after worshiping the moon and this is the only time women eat during the four-day festival.
The third day starts with waking up early and early bathing, devotes ready themselves for the Puja and at evening they leave for the Puja destination at any nearby water bodies. Meanwhile, the men reach the place earlier and keep everything ready like cleaning the place and setting up everything. After the arrival of women, the puja starts and ladies enter into the water and waits for sunset.
The fourth and last day starts with the early morning before sunrise; everyone reaches the puja destination and women again get into the water and wait for Sunrise. After Sunrise the Puja is over with presenting many things to the Sun. With that much of scarification, the family asks for the goodwill of the family goodwill of their home.
All around the festival is celebrated with great love and joy; everyone shares their love and blessings with each other on this day.
This is a festival which is meant to be celebrated with the complete family and everyone plays its equal role but the women sacrifice the most. For those who were unable to visit their home during the festival, they can share Chhath Puja images with each other in order to share some feeling.
This festival holds great importance, there are many who waits for complete year to celebrate this festival again as this provides peace and great health benefits to everyone. According to some Chhath Puja is one of best Puja when it comes to receiving inner peace and calmness of mind and this is not only witnessed by Indians and Hindus but there are many Muslims and many people from other religions and from other countries who do this Puja.
This is the best part about this festival that it doesn’t have any limitations and any boundaries, the value and importance have been witnessed from the past. There were many in ancient times and before ancient who did this puja and received what they wanted.
There is many precautions safety which is required to follow like being near to any water bodies means danger and we request every one to take care of everyone while being near to water bodies. And then there are many who burst crackers on Chhath puja as this festival comes just after Diwali. Proper precaution has to be taken before using the stuff made up of gunpowder. Overall enjoy the festival and take care of everyone. Happy Chhath Puja to all.