Diwali has been celebrated all over India with much grandeur and zeal, but the festive season in Northern India is yet to be ended. Chhath Puja is one of those much famous festivals which will carry out the fervour and passion of festivity in some of the North Indian states.
Chhath Puja is generally performed to thank Lord Surya and Chhati Maiyya (Usha, Lord Surya's wife), for sustaining life on earth and to request for granting certain wishes.
Chhath means sixth because it falls on the sixth day of the month of Kartika (October/November) or simply on the sixth day after Diwali. God Surya is worshiped very passionately for the well being of their family and near and dear ones.
Chhath Puja is celebrated mainly in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and some parts of Nepal.
This year Chhath Puja begins on 24th October and will continue till 27th October.
The Shashthi Tithi is said to be started at 9:37 am on October 25 and will culminate at 12:15 pm on October 26.
On the day of the main puja, the sun is expected to rise at 6:41 am, while sunset will likely happen at 6:05 pm.
According to Mahabharat and Ramayan, Draupadi along with the Pandavas, upon advice from the noble sage Dhaumya, performed Chhath Puja.
Here we bring you some important facts regarding one of those rituals namely 'Nahay Khay', performed in the first day of puja.
Chhath Puja ritual starts on the fourth day of Kartika month, Puja begins with Nahay Khay. The word Nahay Khay, Nahai means to bathe, and Khai means to eat. On the first day of Nahai Khai, devotees take a holy bath in a holy lake or river, to purify their sins. Then, they worship Lord Surya. Water from the holy river is carried to homes, which is later used in cooking food offerings for Surya which then continues for the next 36 hours.
On this day devotees eats rice, gram pulses, and pumpkin vegetables sans onion and garlic. After eating the food sometime mid-noon, the Parvatin (devotee) starts the water-less-fast which is broken only the next day evening while observing 'Kharna' the second day of Chhath Puja. During this period of three nights and four days, the worshiper observes purity and sleeps on the floor. Since it falls in winter, a bed on rice straws is made by putting a blanket on it.