Surya, the Sun God, is worshipped at Chhath Puja to promote well-being, prosperity, and advancement. Chhath Puja is also called Surya Shashti, Chhath, Chhathi, Chhath Parv, and Dala Puja.
Throughout the four-day celebration, the Sun God, the source of all powers, is honored. Sun God followers observe the Vrati fast. Chhath Puja is celebrated twice a year, in the summer and in the winter.
Shukla, Kartika Karthik Chhath is observed on Shashti, the sixth day of the Karthika month. According to the Hindu calendar, this event takes place every year in either October or November. Chaiti Chhath, a summer festival occurring a few days after Holi, is another.
According to mythology, the ceremonies for Chhath Puja are more stringent than those for other Hindu celebrations. They require prolonged fasting, swimming in rivers or other bodies of water, praying while standing in the water, spending a lot of time facing the sun, and offering “prasad” to the sun at sunrise and dusk. During the event, no food with salt, onions, or garlic will be prepared.
The event spans four days. Fasting and a ceremonial bath are performed on the first day of Nahay Khay. For women, fasting is eating only one meal per day. Prepare meals at home. On the second day, Lohanda and Kharna must fast all day. At sundown, prasad is eaten to end the fast. Kheer and chapati are common Prasad offerings. Then, you’ll need to go thirsty for a full day and a half. On the third day, as the sun sets, prasad is prepared at home and offered to the river. Turmeric is used to dye the sarees the women wear for the occasion.
On the final day of the event, known as Usha Arghya, people gather along the riverbank to make sacrifices to the rising sun. When the fast is broken after 36 hours, the festival is over. Prasad is shared with all family members. The Prasad is a crucial aspect of the ritual. Rice, fresh fruits, dried fruits, wheat, jaggery, almonds, coconuts, and ghee are all used in their preparation. Thekua is a biscuit made with wheat flour that many people like.
Now that we know what Chhath Puja is and how it’s conducted, we can look into where this ceremony came from.
Draupadi and the Pandavas, in Hindu legend, conducted the Chhath Puja to end their sufferings and reclaim their kingdom. Karna, the son of Lord Surya and Kunti, is said to have particularly enjoyed the Hindu ceremony of Chhath Puja.
Some people think that ancient Vedic yogis stood in the sun to perform the Chhath puja and gain the sun’s favor.
Therefore in 2023, Chhath Puja is celebrated on Sunday, 19 November, and ends on Wednesday, 22 November.