Chhath Puja 2023: Everything you need to know why this festival is celebrated

18 November,2023 05:07 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

Chhath Puja, an ancient Hindu festival prevalent in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal, reveres the Sun God, Surya, and life`s vital forces. This vibrant four-day celebration symbolises the cosmic energy sustaining life on Earth, rooted in deep cultural significance.

Chhath Puja/ File Photo

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An ancient Hindu festival known as Chhath Puja is celebrated mostly in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and some parts of Nepal. It is a colourful representation of the veneration of the Sun God, Surya, and the celebration of life's essential forces. This four-day celebration, which has deep cultural roots, is a passionate tribute to the cosmic force that keeps life on Earth alive.

Deep spiritual importance surrounds this festival, which normally takes place in October or November during the Hindu lunar month of Kartik. It entails complex rites carried out by devoted followers who have unflinching faith.

Hailed as the festival of purity, Chhath Puja begins with believers immersing themselves in rivers, especially the sacred Ganges, as a purifying ritual. Intricate ceremonies are performed along riverbanks or other bodies of water in the days that follow, during which believers make offerings and prayers to the rising and setting sun. The ladies make up the majority of the devoted followers, who practise strict waterless fasts for extended periods of time, exhibiting incredible endurance and commitment.

The practises associated with Chhath Puja are a harmonious fusion of appreciation, prayer, and devotion. The passionate chanting, pulsating hymns, and sacrifices of fruits, sugarcane, and "prasad" (offerings) to the Sun God highlight the importance of components that sustain life and the deep connection that exists between humans and the natural world.

The celebration is more than just a religious holiday; it's a colourful tapestry woven with cultural history that promotes harmony in the community and ties families together. Families join together to celebrate by cooking customary foods and spreading the festive spirit, which improves relationships between people and makes everyone happy.

Chhath Puja also represents the diversity and harmony seen in India's cultural fabric, transcending religious lines. Celebrations are inclusive, as evidenced by the fact that communities of all castes, creeds, and religions frequently participate in them.

More than just a religious ceremony, Chhath Puja symbolises a deep regard for the elements of nature and recognises the mutually beneficial link between humans and the environment. Honouring the Sun God emphasises the value of protecting the environment and showing gratitude to nature, while also signifying the source of life and vitality.

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