Chhath Puja 2020 – History, Significance and Best Places to Celebrate Chhath Puja in India
Chhath Puja is an ancient Indian festival and one of the most important festivals for the native people of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. This festival is solely dedicated to God of Sun and Chhathi Maiya. Also, the translation of the word ‘Chhath’ in Bhojpuri is ‘Sixth’. As per the Hindu calendar, Chhath Puja is observed on the sixth day of the Kartikeya month and hence it is possible that it has derived its name from there only. It is a four-day-long festival that starts with Nahaya Khay and ends with Usha Argya on the fourth day. This time period includes extending prayers to sun God, fasting, bathing in holy water, and refraining from drinking water for 36 hours. As per Drik Panchang, this year Chhath Puja will be celebrated from 18th November to 21st November.
How is Chhath Puja performed?
Chhath Puja is a pious festival. On the occasion of Chhath Puja, devotees wake up early, take bath in the holy river, perform religious rituals and fast the entire day. The females of the house stand in knee deep sacred water and offer prayers to Sun. Chhath Puja starts on Chaturthi of Shukla Paksha and is concluded on Saptami Tithi. Take a look at day-wise break-out and propitious timing of Chhath Puja 2020 for a better understanding.
Day 1: Nahay Khay
Nahay Khay is the initiation of Chhath Puja observed
on Chaturthi of Shukla Paksha. On this day devotees take a bath in holy water and refine their house with Ganga Jal. Along with this, they extend prayers to God of Sun and his two wives – Usha and Pratyusha. After worshipping and performing religious rituals food is prepared. It is to be noted that devotees commemorate fast on this day and eat just one meal the entire day. On Nahay Khay Channa Dal, Kaddu Sabzi, and Kheer is prepared on bronze or soil utensils. Devotees consume satvik food without adding salt, onion, and garlic in their food.
Sunrise Time – 06:46 AM
Sunset Time – 05:26 PM
Day 2 : Lohanda and Kharna
On this day, devotees wake up early and worship the God of Sun and Chhathi Maiya. They fast for the entire day and cook ‘Prasad’ for the evening. On the second day of Chhath Puja ‘Tasmai’ and Puris are offered to God of Sun in the evening and Prasad is consumed by the devotees. After breaking the second day fast, worshippers fast again for the next 36 hours.
Sunrise Time – 06:47 AM
Sunset Time – 05:26 PM
Day 3 – Sandhya Arghya
This is the main Puja day and on this day devotees observe a day-long fast without even consuming a single drop of water. On this day, the children of the house prepare bamboo baskets and fill them with seasonal baskets. These baskets are carried on heads by male members of the house to Ghats where female members of the house offer Arghya to setting Sun standing in knee deep water. These baskets are taken back home where the night is celebrated by lighting diyas under five sugarcanes. These five sugarcanes denote five elements of nature. The night is celebrated singing folk music and reciting religious hymns.
Sunrise Time – 06:48 AM
Sunset Time – 05:26 PM
Day 4 – Bihaniya Arghya
This is the last day of the festival when the devotees arrive at riverbanks before sun rises. The bamboo baskets taken back at home the previous day are also brought together. The female member of house offers prayers to Sun and Usha also known as Chhathi Maiya. After offering prayers fast is completed and Prasad is consumed from the basket.
Sunrise Time – 06:49 AM
Sunset Time – 05:25 PM
The story behind the celebration of Chhath dates back to the time of Ramayan. It is believed that Lord Rama and Sita fasted and offered prayers to God of Sun after the fulfillment of their fourteen years of exile. It is also believed that Chhath Puja might have originated in the ancient times of Vedas as the rituals and hymns followed in Chhath Puja are quite similar to Rig Veda.
Some mythological legends also suggest that Chhath Puja was started by Surya Putra Karna who was a great soldier and king of Anga Desh (Bihar in present times).
Significance of Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is the festival solely belonging to God of Sun and his two wives. As Sun is considered as the primary source of energy and healer of severe health problems, devotees worship him on this day and wish for good health, progress and happiness in life. Along with this, on this day devotees thank the God of Sun for sustaining life on earth by providing necessary natural elements.
Best Place to Celebrate Chhath Puja 2020
As mentioned above, Chhath Puja is the most important festival for the native people of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The festival is celebrated in many states but the real charm of the festival can be observed in Patna, Hajipur, and Munger of Bihar and Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Bokaro of Jharkhand. These mentioned places get crowded with devotees from all around the nation at this point of time. Take a look at below-mentioned bus routes and book your journey with Abhibus online here to witness the enthusiasm of devotees.
Every year on the occasion of Chhath, Crores of devotees travel to Bihar from their respective places to offer prayer to Sun on ghats of Ganga and other religious water bodies. This Chhath Puja, the leading online travel aggregator – AbhiBus is gifting 1 Lac free tickets to its customers to travel back home or the place of their choice to attend Chhath Puja 2020. With the large investment of INR 3.5 Crore, Abhibus aims to serve as a helping hand where a customer can earn cashback (100% redeemable) by booking a ticket online and referring his code to other fellow members making it a free ride for himself. So what are you waiting for? Let the travelling begin!