Chhath Puja 2021: Learn About The History And Importance Of The Sun Festival.
Chhath Pooja is one of the famous festivals celebrated in many parts of India on the 6th day of Kartik month(according to the Hindu calendar) Chhath pooja is a festival that is mainly observed as worship to Lord Surya during this the devotees fast for 36 hours.
According to the scriptures, Chhath puja was started during the Ramayana after killing Ravan, when Lord Rama and Sita returned from their exile to Ayodhya they had observed this fast. It is also believed that Karna, who is the son of Surya deva was an ardent devotee of the Sun God. He used to offer oblations while standing in water for hours.
Draupadi also worshipped the Sun god for the health and longevity of the Pandavas. It is said that due to this reverence, the Pandavas had regained their kingdom. There is another mythological story related to this festival. King pariyvrat and Queen Malini were childless, due to which they were very sad. THen maharishi (The great sage) Kashyap advised them to perform the Putrakameshti yaga.
When they performed this yaga, Maharishi Kashyap gave the queen a kheer to eat, which was prepared as an offering to God.AFTE some time, the king and queen were blessed with a son, but their fate was so bad that the child was born dead.
When the king carried the corpse of his son to the crematorium and also tried to sacrifice his own life than the Chhath goddess ”devasena ‘ appeared before him. who is also known as ‘Shashti’?
She told the king that if someone sincerely and duly worships her, all their wishes come true. Taking her advice the king, sincerely worshiped goddess Shashti and pleased her by fasting. Impressed with the king’s devotion, the goddess blessed him with a son.
It is said that the day on which the king performed this pooja was the day of Kartik Shukla Sashthi ()the day of the Kartik month) and form the day a=on ward the tradition of performing this pooja is being continued,
Even today people observe this fast for the attainment of children and also for the happiness and longevity of their family members. there are 4 important days of Chhath puja.
Day one Nahay- Khay:
Nahay-Khay is the first day of Chhat puja. on this day, the house is first cleaned and then sanctified. after which the devotees take a bath and purify themselves. After bathing they start the fast by eating pure and moral food. On this day, Chana Dal and bottle-gourd are eaten with roti. The cooked food is first eaten by the devotee and later consumed by other family members.
Day two Kharna:
Kharna is the second day of Chhath pooja on this day the person who is observing fast, follows it for the entire day, in which neither they can eat nor drink anything. In the evening a sweet dish is made using jaggery known as ‘Rasiao Kheer’ which is eaten by the observer after performing pooja. That same night, a sweet named ‘Thekua’ which is made of Sugar syrup, wheat flour, and ghee is prepared for goddess Chhathi as offerings.
Day three Sandhya Arghya:
The third day is the main day of Chhath Puja. On this day, observers do not even drink water. Then in the evening, they gather at the river or pond and offer oblations to the setting Sun. When the devotee is heading towards the Ghat for the offertory, the son or one of the men of the house walks ahead with a basket made of bamboo, This basket is called’ Behengi’
the Behnegi contains, fruit, offering, and other things required for the pooja.
Day Four Usha Arghya
On the fourth day of Chhath puja, devotees worship the rising Sun. Devotees and the other family members once again gather on the banks of the river and sing songs for the goddess Chhathi to please her. This in the end they break the fast by consuming Prasad and raw milk. And thus, the Chhath Pooja ends.
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