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Chatth Puja: All you need to know about this vibrant festival!

Chatth Puja is Bihar‘s most revered and religious event, with lakhs of worshippers flocking to pay their respects to the Sun God. It speaks favorably of the state’s deeply established folk culture and traditions. As it begins on the sixth day from Amavasya, the term Chatth means “six” (Diwali). Chhat, which is dedicated to the Sun God, necessitates a difficult fast of more than 24 hours without water. The Parvaitin (one who performs the parv/puja) observes a two-day period of abstinence and segregation from the main household, as well as the ritual of washing solely in Ganges holy water.

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Chatth Puja: All you need to know

Nahaye-Khaye- On the first day of Chatth, the parvaitin bathes in holy water and prepares a healthy dinner free of onion and garlic. Her fast begins after dinner and lasts until the following evening.

Kharna – On the second day of the festival, the parvaitin prepares the prasad, which comprises kheer and chapattis, by herself. She eats this prasad to break her fast, and the leftovers are distributed as Chatthi maiyya’s most pious prasad.

Pehla Arghya- On the third day of the puja, Pehla Arghya, the two-day fast begins. The devotees and parvaitin walk to the Ghats to offer Arghya to the setting sun. The Arghya is a milk and gangajal offering that is considered amrit. I didn’t only mean the fasts when I claimed that adhering to Chhat is difficult. Because Chatth is celebrated in the winter, parvaitins and devotees alike find it difficult to stand waist-deep in the icy waters of the river and offer Arghya. It is thought that those who observe Chatth should avoid wearing anything sewn. As a result, most parvaitins (brave as they must be) simply wrap themselves in a sari!

Doosra Arghya – On the fourth day, the journey towards the Ghats begins again early in the morning. My favourite part of the event (apart from getting prasad, of course!) is when the sky is still mahogany black and millions of diyas and fireworks illuminate the Ghats; the sight is nothing short of a beautiful parade. To truly comprehend and feel the absolute piety and beauty of this festival, one must witness it. The entire Ghat is decked out with terracotta lamps and sugar-cane stalk canopies, where devotees store their soops (baskets). Each soop contains the Chatth prasad, which includes the season’s first crop.

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While the rituals are holy and engaging, there are many other aspects of this celebration that are noteworthy. You will almost certainly spot some devotees who do not go on foot on your way to the Ghats! Yes, some people roll all the way from their residence to the Ghats (which can be many kilometers) on their backs! Another perplexing sight is seeing very old women perform the puja and appear to be quite OK even after plunging waist-deep into the icy river. But it’s the atmosphere that’s built over the course of the festival’s four days that’s the most fascinating.

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Final Thoughts

Chatth Puja is not just a festival, it’s a carnival of joy and love blended with devotion and holiness that brings families and friends together. Women with vermillion down their noses never seem to stop chanting the Chatth folk songs, children and men alike drowned in the fervor of the festivity- Chatth Puja is not just a festival, it’s a carnival of joy and love blended with devotion and holiness that brings families and friends together.

So, celebrate Chatth Puja 2021 with your families, and let this be an occasion of immense joy and enjoyment for you!

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