The four-day Chhath Puja celebrations began across the country on October 28.

 

About ‘Chhath Puja’

  • Dedicated to — Chhath is a Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun god and his wife Usha in order to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth. The Goddess who is worshipped during the famous Chhath Puja is known as Chhathi Maiya (also known as Usha, wife of the sun god).
  • Meaning of word chhath — The word chhath means sixth and the festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the month Kartika of the Hindu lunar Bikram Sambat calendar.
  • Rituals — The festival is observed over a period of four days. They rituals include holy bathing, fasting, standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prayers and food to the setting and rising sun.
  • Who observe it? The main worshipers, called Parvaitin, are usually women. However, many men also observe this festival as Chhath is not a gender-specific festival.
  • Regions — The festival is observed most elaborately in Mithila Province of Nepal, Terai-Madhesh region of Nepal, Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and UP. It is also more prevalent in areas where migrants from those areas have a presence.