Sunday, November 18, 2012

chhath puja 17th to 20th Nov 2012

Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja dedicated to Lord Surya Dev

1. Nahai Khai

2. Kharna

3. Sandhya Arghya (19th Nov 2012)

4.  Savera Suryodaya Arghya (20th Nov 2012)

Chhat or Dala Chhath Vrat is also known as Surya Sashati Fast. This festival takes place in the Hindu month of Kartik and is devoted to the Sun God or Surya Narayan. Chhath is a very important festival in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. People gather around water bodies or small ponds and offer Arghya to the setting sun and the rising sun.

Chhath is a wish fulfilling festival and people's 'manokamna' is said to be fulfilled by observing this Vrat and puja. Families carry the tradition of doing Chhath puja from generation to generation. Its a great family tradition. Devotees try to please Surya Bhagwan and Chhathi Maiya for blessings on their families. Chhath puja spans four days of rituals and fasting and all family member lend support in the fulfillment of the puja tasks. 

Nahai Khai
Nahai Khai is a purifing ritual. It cleanses the devotees body and prepares body and mind for the forthcoming fast. On this day devotees take a full head bath, sometimes in holy rivers or at home. They eat rice and Lauki or Kaduu preparations. The food is plain and very easy to digest.

Second day is a fasting day. In the evening kheer is made with Gur. Plain roti with ghee or 'Suhari' is made. The food is first offered as bhog and prayers are done. Friends and family are invited to participate and partake in the Kharna food. Devotees and their families all enjoy the sweet food with other fruits and mithaii also.

Setting Sun Arghya
On the third day, 'Soop' and 'dagra' or new containers made from bamboo plants are filled with all kinds of Prasads today.. Khajur, sugarcane, Daab Nimbu, Thekuaa, Sindoor, lighted diyas, different fruits, bananas etc are placed in the containers. Each Soop is a different wish. The Fasting devotee along with family members go to the different water bodies.

Standing in the water, the devotee offers each container of Prasad to the setting Surya and offers Sandhya Arghya to the setting sun - praying and seeking the fulfillment of many wishes and blessings from the God almighty.

Rising Sun Arghya
On the fourth day devotees reach the 'ghats' before sunrise. They wait in the water for the first rays of the rising sun light. Suryodaya Arghya is offered. Music is played. Crackers are lit and the mighty Surya Bhagwan is offered the prasad again. The Surya Sashti Katha is read. Married women receive sindoor from married fasting ladies.

People then make their way home and eat Prasad and enjoy the festivities at the end of the Vrat and Puja.Surya Narayan has the power to fulfill all one's wishes, grant the devotee longevity and a disease free, long and prosperous life.

Jai Surya Dev-Jai Ma Chatthi

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