Millions performs Chhath festival prayer

Photo related to women performing traditional Chhath festival prayer.

Patna: Women along with millions of people today celebrated the festival of Chhath throughout the country by observing fast, prayer and by singing traditional devotional songs to the setting sun.

The four-day Chhath festival began day before yesterday when devotees took a dip in rivers to perform tradition known as ‘Nahai khai’. This is followed by the ritual of ‘kharna’ on Saturday when sweet dishes are prepared before fasting.

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This tradition is observed with 36 hours of fasting during the festival by the by married women. Devotees use to offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the Sun God. In many parts of the country, the festival is celebrated with fervour and zeal especially in Bihar state.

The age-old tradition of paying obeisance to the Sun God is observed mainly by the people from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh or Poorvanchalis.

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The national capital Delhi has a sizeable population of people hailing from these two states. Thousands of devotees celebrating Chhath Puja gathered on the banks of the Yamuna river, lakes and canals in the national capital early this afternoon to pay obeisance to the Sun God on the third day of the festival.

The puja starts with the ceremony of ‘Nahai-Khai’, in which devotees prepare traditional food after bathing. The second day is ‘Kharna’, during which devotees observe a day-long fast which ends after sunset.

On the third day, the followers use to stand in water and offer ‘Arghya’ to the setting sun

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On final day of the puja, devotees and their friends and relatives assemble at the river banks before sunrise and offer ‘Arghya’ to the rising sun.

In the capital city of Bihar state Patna near about 50 ghats or riverside bathing platforms on the banks of the Ganga.

Chhath is associated with faith, purity and devotion to the Sun God. Colourful idols of the Sun God riding his chariot with seven horses, a new attraction this year, were sold on riverbanks.

The festival will conclude on Monday morning with devotees worshipping the rising sun. Chhath is celebrated six days after Diwali.

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