Mumbai: Bihari natives offer oblation to the Sun God in Chhath Puja

MUMBAI: Lakhs resulted in festive galas for the annual Chhath Puja celebration on the Mumbai waterfront on Saturday. The ritual worship of Chhathi Devi is observed mainly by women who fast and pray for the long life and well-being of their husbands and children.

Photo: SL Shanth Kumar

Photo: SL Shanth Kumar

Photo: SL Shanth Kumar

Large crowds of devotees filled Juhu Beach and Dadar Chowpatty. In Thane, the artificial lake Upvan welcomed a few people. Men and women carried on their heads offerings of sugarcane and fresh fruit in cane baskets and sat down to pray in groups. The three-day festival involves worshiping the sunset and the rising sun.

Lifeboats on Lake Upavan in Thane. Photo: Anil Shinde

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, a native of Bihar, has been the host of the largest meeting in Juhu Beach since 1998. He said: I am also fasting today and I offered 'arghya' (oblation) with my family at dusk. Chhath consciousness has grown exponentially. Biharis comes to this place from all parts of the city. However, the noise restrictions of the Supreme Court prevent people from enjoying DJ music, which I feel partly mitigates their enthusiasm. We face restrictions on the size of the stage and the type of sound box to use, which I feel is not justified.

A view from Thane. Photo: Anil Shinde

Bihari women who married men from eastern UP or emigrated with their husbands to Nepal began to Chhath Puja there. This year we have received reports that Chhath Puja is celebrated in Puducherry. In Srinagar, Dal Lake is the center of the party, Nirupam said.