Chhath Puja 2018
This is one of the greatest Hindu festivals that have been celebrating from the Vedic era. The Hindu Vedic festival is celebrated with full of enthusiasm in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and the Madhesh of Nepal. The auspicious Chhath puja is dedicated to the Lord Sun and Goddess Usha (Wife of Lord Sun) in order to thank them to lighting the earth and nurturing life.
Chhath Puja Date in 2018
The festival rituals are rigorous where devotees observed 36 hours long fast. The puja is celebrated for 4 days. There are lots of preparations required to perform the holy festival. The craze of Chhath Puja is also seen in Western parts of the world including USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia and many more places where the majority of the Hindu community is higher.
Significance of Chhath Puja
Chhath puja falls on Kartika Shukla Shashthi. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the month of October or November. There is Chaiti Chhath celebrated in the summer (March-April). Devotees of the puja worship the Lord Sun to bring happiness and ward off troubles in their lives. It is believed that if the puja is performed with full devotion and as per rituals, Lord Sun fulfils wishes of his devotees.
History of Chhath Puja
The Rigveda contains hymns worshipping of the Sun. The Mahabharata epic describes how Draupadi performed the Sun worship. According to the epic, Draupadi and the Pandavas performed the puja on the advice of Dhaumya who was a noble sage. With this worship, Draupadi helped the Pandavas to win their kindom.
As per the Yogic history dated Vedic era, the rishis of yore lives without eating food and get the energy from the sun’s rays. They followed the Chhath Puja methods.
Rituals & Traditions of Chhath Puja
This is a 4-day festival that requires devotees to follow each and every ritual associated with the puja carefully. Devotees offer prayers during the Sun set and the Sun rise near the bank of rivers.
The first day of Chhath Puja includes taking bath and eating one time food. If possible, the bath is taken in the river like Ganga. The house is cleaned. The women who observe the fast are called Vratin or parvaitin who are allowed to take only one time meal on the first day.
This is the second day of the Puja and a day before the main puja. The Vratins observe a fast for whole day which ends with Sun set where they take Kheer (rice and milk recipe) and Chappatis (wheat flour bread). Friends are invited to have the Prasad. After having this Prasad, Vratins observe 36 hours fast without eating and drinking.
Sandhya Arghya or Pahela Aragh
The day spends preparing Prasad and decorating a wood plate called Sup with diyas, fruit and Prasad (thekuaa). The Vratins including their family members gather on the river bank during evening to offer worship to the Sun. The folk songs sung which make the day more special.
It is the final day of the puja where Vratins worship the rising sun on the riverbank. On this day, Vratins break their fast with Prasad and a special food cooked by the family members, especially for Vratins. Overall, this is a great Hindu festival that brings joy. It brings the longevity and prosperity.