Chhath Puja, an ancient festival, is celebrated with immense gaiety and fervour in India. This four-day-long festival is dedicated to worshipping the Sun God or Surya dev and Chhathi Maiya (Usha). This festival is also known as Surya Sashthi and is dedicated to showing gratitude and seeking the Sun God's blessings. The occasion is celebrated for the well-being and prosperity of the family of the devotees. Let’s get to know more about this holy festival.
The Chhath Puja 2021 will be celebrated from 8th November 2021 to 11th November 2021, with the main day, Shasthi, falling on 10th November 2021. The auspicious timing for Chhath Puja 2021 that you should know about is given below-
1. Nahay-Khay: 8th November 2021 (Monday)
Sunrise - 06:38 AM
Sunset - 05:31 PM
2. Lohanda and Kharna: 9th November 2021 (Tuesday)
Sunrise - 06:39 AM
Sunset - 05:30 PM
3. Chhath Puja, Sandhya Arghya: 10th November 2021 (Wednesday)
Sunrise - 06:40 AM
Sunset - 05:30 PM
4. Suryodaya/Usha Arghya and Parana: 11th November 2021 (Thursday)
Sunrise - 06:41 AM
Sunset - 05:29 PM
If you want to know more about Chhath Puja and how to celebrate the festival, turn to expert astrologers at Astroyogi.
Chhath Puja is an incredible festival that is revered by Hindus all over India and abroad. It holds great significance for the Hindu community. People of all castes and creeds worship the Sun God, who is regarded as the source of all powers and energy. In India, the Chhath Puja festival is considered the most sacred and pious way of worshipping the Sun. The origin of this auspicious occasion can be traced back to the Rig Veda. The holy scriptures contain hymns dedicated to the Sun God.
This specific festival is celebrated with the intention to show gratitude towards the Sun God. Worshipping the Sun God on this occasion offers numerous health and spiritual benefits. The Sun God is considered the creator of all life on Earth. The divine Sun God is known to take care of all his subjects by spreading its powerful life-giving light. Devotees each year pray to the Sun God enthusiastically to seek blessings for the well-being of their family members and friends.
According to beliefs in Hinduism, performing the holy Chhath Puja and fasting is commonly believed to be beneficial for our health. It is believed that the Sun God's grace and blessings can cure disease and ensure the longevity of the devotees' families. During the Chhath Puja, women devotees observe fast and perform the rituals for the well-being and prosperity of their family and children. Celebrating this occasion and observing the fast can fulfil your dearest wishes. Devotees believe that by worshipping the Sun God, they can make Chhathi Maiya pleased, as a result of which she will bestow them with harmony, peace, and wealth. The festival of Chhath Puja is associated with purity, faith, and devotion to the Sun God, and it witnesses a complete submission of devotion.
Chhath Puja, also known as Chhathi and Dala Chhath, is celebrated with spiritual zeal in India, especially in North Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand. It is also celebrated in the Terai region of Nepal with unmatchable gusto. Additionally, it is also celebrated in Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi. Moreover, Chhath Puja is observed in several other parts of India, where people from the aforementioned regions have moved to and settled. However, there is a different kind of enthusiasm for this festival in Bihar.
Chhath Puja is observed twice every year - Kartik Shukla Shashthi and Chaitra Shukla Shashti. On both these occasions, the rituals for worshipping the Sun God remain the same. However, the Chhath Puja observed on the Kartik Shukla Shashti is considered to have special significance and is given more recognition.
The Chhath festival, after the celebrations of Diwali, falls on Kartik Shukla Shashti. The Kartik Chhath is observed by devotees on the sixth day of the Kartik month and is known as Kartik Shukla Shashti. As per the calendar, this occasion falls during October or November every year. As the festival is observed on the sixth day, this festival is called 'Chhath' as the word means six in Hindi.
Devotees observe Chhath Puja with complete reverence and devotion. Married womenfolk mainly observe the Chhath Puja fast and the rituals for the well-being and happiness of their family.
The Chhath Puja Vidhi or the rituals associated with this festival can be physically demanding. They are harsher when compared to any other Hindu festival. The festival involves strict abstinence from food and water. It also includes taking a dip in water bodies or rivers, standing in knee-deep water for long durations while offering prayers, Prasad (offerings) and Arghya to the rising and setting Sun. The food prepared for this festival should have no onion, garlic, or salt.
The festival is dedicated to Lord Surya or the Sun God, and he is worshipped during the four days of the Chhath Puja.
Let's look at the four important days associated with this festival.
The occasion starts with Nahay Khay on Kartik Shukla Chaturthi. On the first day, devotees take a dip in a holy water body, especially the river Ganga, and fast all day. On this day, womenfolk observing the fast can only have a single meal the whole day. This meal must be home-cooked and vegetarian.
On the second day, a fast without consuming water has to be maintained for the entire day. The fast can only be broken after Sunset with Prasad. The Prasad involves Kheer made of jaggery along with Chapati or Puris. The Prasad should be first offered to the Sun God. After ending this fast, the third day fast begins, which must be observed for the next thirty-six hours. In that fast, the devotees should not even drink a sip of water.
The third day is considered to be the most challenging day of the fast. Devotees observe a fast on this day, and neither do they consume food nor water for the entire day. This particular day is dedicated to Chhathi Maiya and is considered the main day of the Puja. On this day, at Sunset, the female devotees are accompanied by their entire family to offer 'Sandhya Arghya' on a riverbank.
The Prasad is prepared at home and then taken to the water bodies in the evening and offered to the setting Sun. Womenfolk usually wear turmeric-yellow coloured sarees while performing this pious ritual. This fast continues through the night, and Parana is done the next day after the sunrise.
On the fourth and last day of this pious festival, devotees gather at a riverbank to make offerings to the rising Sun early in the morning. Arghya is offered to the rising Sun, and this is known as the 'Usha Arghya'. Devotees worship for the protection and well-being of their children and the happiness and harmony of their families.
This is when the devotees break their thirty-six-hour fast, marking the final culmination of the four-day-long auspicious festival. The devotees break the fast by consuming the Prasad. The ritual or custom of breaking the fast is known as Parana.
Here are all the main Chhath Puja samagri (items).
Besides this, devotees should also take thekua, malpua, dates, halwa made with semolina, kheer-puri, rice laddu, etc., as offerings or Prasad.
The four-day-long festival holds an important space in the hearts of the devotees. All the devotees celebrate this occasion with utmost sincerity and reverence.
By - Team Astroyogi