When is Chhath Puja 2019? Date, time, history, history, meaning and everything you need to know
Dedicated to Lord Surya (God of the Sun) and Chhathi Maiya, known to be the sister of Lord Surya, Chhath Puja is celebrated with much fervor in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh in India. It is observed in all the northern regions and in the main urban areas of northern India that border Nepal. In Hinduism, the sun is considered the lord of energy and life force. The sun is seen as a symbol of stability and prosperity. Therefore, during Chhath puja people worship the God of the Sun for the prosperity of their loved ones. They thank the deity of the Sun for maintaining and supporting life on Earth and seek their protection and blessings. The devotees who observe quickly during this festival are called vrati.
According to the Hindu calendar, Chhath Puja is celebrated in Kartika shukla shashtri, which is celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali. Chhath means sixth in Maithili and Bhojpuri language, the reason why the festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Kartika. The festival generally falls in the month of October or November according to the English Gregorian calendar.
Rituals and traditions of Chhath Puja: Chhath puja is a four-day festival observed after Diwali. This year the festival will be held from October 31 to November 3. Nahay Khay on October 31, Kharna on November 1, Sandhya Arghya on November 2 and Usha Argya on November 3. The festival is celebrated following rigorous rituals during these four days. The rituals and traditions of this festival include fasting, sacred bathing, sun worship and offering Arghya prasad to the rising and setting Sun deity.
On the first day of bidding, Nahay Khay, the devotees bathe in the sacred river and take home the holy water to prepare the offerings.
In Kharna, on the second day of Chhath puja, devotees observe a one-day fast and break their fast at night after sunset after sun worship.
On the third day, Sandhya Arghya, after preparing the prasad, devotees bathe in the holy water at night and make offerings at sunset on the riverbank or in a large body of common water. On Chhath night, a vibrant and joyful event of Kosi is celebrated by lighting the diyas under the cover of five sugar cane sticks.
On the fourth and last day of the festival, Usha Argya, the devotees go to the holy waters a little before dawn to make offerings. The festival comes to an end with the breaking of the fast with Chhath prasad. History and meaning of Chhath Puja:
It is believed that the celebration of Chhath puja may be prior to the old vedas, since the rituals performed during the puja are quite similar to those mentioned in Rigveda, where Rishis worshiped the Sun with fasting. However, the exact origin of this festival is ambiguous. Some believe that the festival is connected with the Hindu epic Ramayana.
According to the old text, Lord Rama is associated with the beginning of Chhath puja. It is said that Lord Rama and his wife Sita had observed a fast and offered prayers to the God of the Sun, in the month of Kartika in Shukla Paksha, once they returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. From then on, Chhath Puja is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm every year.
Chhath puja has a special meaning. It is said to be the best way to detoxify your body, since taking dives in water and exposing it to the sun increases the flow of solar bio electricity, which improves the functionality of the human body. That is the reason why on the third and fourth day of the festival, devotees make offerings when the sun is setting and rising, respectively. During this period, solar energy has a low level of ultraviolet radiation, so it remains safe for the human body.