The Sun God, Surya, who stands for vigor and life force, is worshipped at the Chhath Puja to promote well-being, prosperity, and advancement. Other names for Chhath Puja include Surya Shashti, Chhath, Chhathi, Chhath Parv, Dala Puja, and Dala Chhath.
Throughout the four-day festival, the Sun God the origin of all abilities is honored. Sun God followers observe the Vrati fast. Chhath Puja is celebrated twice a year, in the summer and the winter.
Karthik Chhath is observed on Kartika Shukla Shashti, the sixth day of the Karthika month. According to the Hindu calendar, this occasion occurs every year in either October or November. Another is the summer holiday of Chaiti Chhath, which is celebrated a few days following Holi.
Rumor has it that Chhath Puja customs are stricter than those for other Hindu holidays. They require a protracted period of not eating or drinking, swimming in rivers or other bodies of water, praying while standing in the water, spending a lot of time facing the sun, and giving “prasad” to the sun at sunrise and sunset. During the event, no food with salt, onions, or garlic will be prepared.
It is observed throughout a four-day period. The first day is Nahay Khay, which consists of a holy bath and a fasting day. Women who are fasting are only permitted to eat one meal per day. Food must be cooked at home. Lohanda and Kharna must fast entirely on the second day. It is broken with prasad after nightfall. Prasad in the form of kheer and chapati are two common forms. A 36-hour fast without water is then required. Sandhya Arghya is the third day when prasad is prepared at home and offered to the river as the sun sets. Women wear turmeric-yellow sarees on this occasion.
The festival’s final day, Usha Arghya is observed by devotees making offerings to the rising sun along the riverfront. The festival concludes on this day when the devotees break their 36-hour fast. Prasad is given to every member of the household. Prasad, a significant dish at this ceremony, is made with rice, fresh fruits, dry fruits, wheat, jaggery, almonds, coconuts, and ghee. Everyone enjoys the wheat-flour biscuit known as thekua.
Now that you’re familiar with the rituals, let’s look at the history of Chhath Puja.
According to Hindu legend, Draupadi and the Pandavas performed the Chhath Puja in order to reclaim their kingdom and discover solutions to their problems. According to another tradition, Karna, the son of Lord Surya and Kunti, used to do Chhath Puja.
Furthermore, it is stated that the yogis of the Vedic age used to expose themselves to direct sunlight in order to get the blessings of the sun’s rays and perform the Chhath puja.
Therefore in 2023, Chhath Puja is celebrated on Sunday, 19 November, and ends on Wednesday, 22 November.