Rituals and Traditions of Chhath Puja

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It is believed that worshipers of the Chhath take holy bath and follows a period of abstinence and become separate for 4 days from the main family. Throughout the period he is believed as the pure spirit and sleep on the floor having single blanket. There is a normal belief that once a family begins Chhatt Puja, he has to perform it yearly as well as pass it to his next generations and it can only be skipped when there is a death of any person in the family that year.

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Devotees offer prasad to Sun at the Chhath such as sweets, Kheer, Thekua and fruits included in a small bamboo tokari. The prasad should be cooked without salt, onions or garlic with maintained purity. It is a four days festival which includes:

  • On the first day, devotees take bathe early in the morning in the holy water of Gange and bring some water to their home to prepare the offerings. The home and its surroundings should be cleaned at this day. They take only one meal a day known as kaddu-bhat cooked only by using the bronze or soil utensils and mango woods over the soil stove.
  • On the second day (the day before Chhath), Panchami, devotees keeps fast for whole day and break their fast in the evening after sunset after the worship of Sun. They offer Rasiao-kheer, puris, fruits in the puja. After taking meal in the evening, they go on a fast without water for the next 36 hours.

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  • On the third day (day of Chhath) they offer the Sanjhiya Arghya at the ghat of riverbank. After Arghya, they wear the single saree of turmeric color. Other family members are waiting for getting the blessings from worshiper. At the night of Chhath a vibrant event of Kosi is celebrated by lighting the lamps of clay diyas under the covering of five sugarcane sticks. The five sugarcane sticks indicate the Panchatattva (earth, water, fire, air and space) that human body made of Panchatattva.
  • On the early morning of the fourth day (Paarun), devotees along with their family and friends offer Bihaniya Aragh at the ghat of riverbank of Gange. Devotees end their festival through breaking the fast by having the Chhath prashad.

Source: Varanasi.org.in

Images: AaoBihar

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