Chhath puja begins with piety, enthusiasm
Chhath puja, an important Hindu festival celebrated twice a year in the form of Chaithi Chhath Puja (March-April) and Karthik Chhath puja (October-November), is being celebrated with enthusiasm and piety in several pockets of Secunderabad having sizeable numbers of people belonging to Bihari communities.
Secunderabad: Chhath puja, an important Hindu festival celebrated twice a year in the form of Chaithi Chhath Puja (March-April) and Karthik Chhath puja (October-November), is being celebrated with enthusiasm and piety in several pockets of Secunderabad having sizeable numbers of people belonging to Bihari communities.
Of great religious, historical and cultural importance, Chhath puja is an ancient Vedic festival native to the Madhesh province and Mithila region of Nepal as well as Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh states of India. Prayers, rituals, bathing in river and fasting are some of the key elements of this festival.
Every year people assemble in large numbers along the Boduppal lake at Hema Nagar to celebrate this festival. This year, the initial ceremony relating to the puja was performed under the auspices of Director General of Prisons of Telangana V K Singh.
Sanjay Kumar Bhagath, the head of the Chhatth Pooja Samiti Hema Nagar, later told The Hans India: “Every year we ensure that the devotees who come here go home satisfied after performing puja. This year, we are expecting more than 5,000 people to take part in this event.”
He adds, “We celebrate this festival to thank the Sun god, who sustains life on earth. Chhath puja lasts four days. The first day begins with ‘Nahaie Khaie’. On this day, people who are supposed to do Chhath puja have to eat curry of bottle guard and rice.
The second day is ‘Kharna’, when people observing Chhath cook rice pudding made of jaggery and offer it to the Moon god and have it in the form of prasadam. Now, from this day onwards, till the next 36 hours, one observing Chhath pooja should not eat anything or drink anything till the puja is completed.”
Sanjay Kumar Bhagath elaborates, “The third day is Sandhya Arg (evening puja), where fasting devotees come to the lake and offer puja to the setting Sun god by offering milk, water and different seasonal fruits.
The next day is Kharna, when puja is performed in the same manner to the rising sun. It takes lot of patience to perform this puja, in the case of elderly ladies who are unable to perform the same, they pass it over to the next generation or family members.”
Once puja with Parna is over, devotees break their fast in the same place where they perform puja by first eating the prasadam. Going by scientific reasons, there is also a natural benefit of performing Chhath puja: when you expose yourself to the sunlight, you absorb vitamin D from its rays. This protects you from skin diseases!
By Neelam Shaw