Chhath is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival historically native to the Indian subcontinent, more specifically, the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and the Madhesh region of Nepal. The Chhath Puja is dedicated to the solar deity Surya and Shashthi devi (Chhathi Maiya) in order to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. This festival is observed by Biharis & Nepalese along with their diaspora.The festival does not involve idolatry and is dedicated to worship the Chhathi Maiya (Shashthi Mata) and sun God Surya along with his consorts Usha and Pratyusha the Vedic Goddess of Dawn and Dusk respectively. It is believed that the main sources of Sun’s powers are his wife Usha and Pratyusha. In Chhath, there is combined worship of both the powers along with the Sun. In the morning, worship of the first ray (Usha) of the Sun and the last ray (Pratyusha) of the Sun in the evening are offered to both of them. And the rituals are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (Vratta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prasad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun. Some devotees also perform a prostration march as they head for the river banks.Environmentalists have claimed that the festival of Chhath is one of the most eco-friendly religious festivals that should be used to spread “the message of nature conservation”. Moreover, it’s arguably one of few Hindu festivals that transcend the rigid caste system, which emerged in the post-Vedic period, to touch upon the ideas of “equality, fraternity, unity and integrity. Every devotee—elite or middle class (and caste)—prepares almost similar Prasad and other items to offer to the Almighty. All the devotees without any distinction in caste, colour or economy, arrive at the bank of rivers or ponds for extending prayers.”Although the festival is observed most elaborately in Madhesh (southern) region of Nepal and Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and UP, it is also more prevalent in areas where migrants from those areas have a presence. It is celebrated in all Northern regions and major Northern urban centers in India. The festival is celebrated in the regions including but not exclusive to the northeast region of India, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan Mumbai, Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, other parts of the Caribbean, United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Macau, Japan and Indonesia.Chhath Puja, also known as Sun Shashthi is celebrated on Kartik Shukla Shashthi. This festival is celebrated after 6 days of Diwali and mainly celebrated in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand with great fanfare. On Chhath Puja, worshiping Sun God and Chhathi maiya helps you gain health, wealth and happiness. In the last few years, Chhath Pooja has got a special significance as a folk festival. This is the reason why the festival is celebrated with great pomp and show.
Lists containing Chhath Puja :
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India is the country of festivals. Thousands of festivals are celebrated across India. Lets take a look at the most popular Indian Festivals.