Chhath celebrated with fervor in Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar greets the devotees

PATNA: The fervor to keep the capital captive on Saturday when thousands of devotees crammed the numerous ghats along the Ganges here to pay tribute to the stage, a ritual that is said to have no parallel in any other festival.

All roads in the city seemed to lead to the Ganges while the young and the old, men and women, marched barefoot for miles to reach the ghats, fighting the exhaustion caused by fasting and transporting wicker baskets full of Prasad materials , such as bunches of bananas, sugar cane, aventadas and Thekuas, an essential sweet prepared for the occasion.

Prime Minister Nitish Kumar continued his practice of greeting the Vratees (devotees) of Chhath in the ghats from the top of a steamboat that began his journey at the western end of the city. Before embarking on the trip, Kumar duly celebrated Chhath in his official residence 1, Anney Marg along with close family members, offering Arghya to the sun god standing in the water to the knees. On the steamboat, adorned with floral patterns, the main minister joined Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is also the local deputy, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, in addition to many high-ranking members of the state cabinet and strategist Election turned politician Prashant Kishor, who is the national vice president of JD (U) headed by Kumar.

The dignitaries greeted the crowd of devotees who sang slogans praising Chhathi Maiya when they saw the steam.

Those who could not stand the stress of walking to the ghats chose parks with bodies of water. The elders preferred to perform the rituals with their feet in containers full of water held on the rooftops.

The whole landscape seems to reverberate with the bhajans sung on the occasion, transmitted from generation to generation. While devotees, especially women, hummed the melodies, interpretations of it by singers known as and Manoj Tiwari continued to sound from huge sound boxes.

Many Bhojpuri singers have presented parodies in which songs are sung in praise of the festival to the rhythm of their numbers of successful films. These are savored or disapproved depending on the tastes of the listeners.

Held on the sixth day after Deepawali, which explains the etymology of Chhath, a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word Shashthi, the festival is unique in terms of not requiring priestly interventions, despite intense religious connotations, and even the lowest of It is known that castes and non-Hindus observe austerities.

Touching stories of Muslim women who become Chhath vratees and encouraged in their adventure by their Hindu neighbors are a common feature. One of those cases that has come to light is that of Jamila Khatun, a resident of a village of the Chhaudahi block in the Begusarai district, who has been a Chhath vratee for the past 12 years. Dressed in a yellow sari and with vermilion on the headline, Khatun looked like every inch devoted to Chhath while telling the story that he had begun to observe the austerities that sought comfort in his life plagued by problems of poverty and health of the members of the family. Any little stability that has come to my life, I owe it to Chhathi Maiya. I will continue observing austerities until my last breath, she says in tears as the head of the local village, Pavan Kumar Sah, adds: This sister of ours lives proof of social harmony and we will always be ready with all the necessary help.

The legend says that the origin of the festival is that Lord Rama and the goddess Sita were advised by the sage Vashishtha to offer prayers to the sun god after his return from Lanka, where Ravana was killed.

It is believed that Vashistha said that the sin accumulated because of killing Ravana, a demon king who, however, was Brahman by birth, would be swept away by the austerities thus observed. The festivities would conclude on Sunday with Arghya's offering to the rising sun.