Chhath Puja 2018 or Chhath Parva, an ancient Hindu festival, falls on November 11-14 this year, according to the Hindu lunar calendar. However, the main Chhath Puja will be observed on November 13, 2018, which is known as Surya Shashthi. Chhath, meaning sixth in Bhojpuri language spoken by the people in Bihar, is observed on the sixth day of the month of Kartika (October/November) or on the sixth day after Diwali. Chhath Puja is the biggest Hindu festival in Bihar. The festival is also celebrated in a grand manner in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh - that are gearing up to make the festive celebration even grander this year.
Why is Chhath Puja observed?
Chhath Puja is a thanksgiving festival of the Hindus. The day is marked to offer gratitude to the Hindu Sun god - Lord Surya and Chhati Maiyya for the bountiful life on earth. Believers and devotees wake up early in the morning and wait for the sunrise. As the sun rises, prayers are offered to grant certain wishes for the well-being of the family and loved ones. The festival is observed for four days with fasting and praying.
How is Chhath Puja celebrated?
Rituals are often performed at home and by the riverside early morning as the day dawns and the sun rises and sets. People head to the holy river Ganga and take a dip in the water as a cleansing act. People bathe in the river to purify themselves from all sins and seek atonement. After the bath, foods are offered to the gods and are eaten before the start of the fasting.
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Dates and time for Chhath Puja 2018
Sunrise on Chhath Puja Day- 06:41 AM
Sunset on Chhath Puja Day- 05:28 PM
Shashthi Tithi begins at 01:50 am on November 13, 2018
Shashthi Tithi ends at 04:22 am on November 14, 2018
Chhath Puja 2018 Day 1 - November 11 - Nahay-Khay
On the first day, people take a dip in the holy river Ganga early in the morning and prepare offerings to the sun god. They take just one meal and observe fast throughout the day. Houses and surroundings are also cleaned. The rituals starts on the fourth day of Kartika month as early as 6.30 am.
Chhath Puja 2018 Day 2 - November 12 - Lohanda and Kharna
On Kharna, the second day of Chhath, fasting without water is observed from sunrise to sunset. The fast is broken after making food offering to the Sun God as the sun sets.
Chhath Puja 2018 Day 3 - November 13 - Sandhya Argh
The third day of Chhath Puja is called Sandhya Argh. On this day, a full day fast without water is observed and all the rituals are performed in the evening. And the fasting continues in the night. Devotees stand in the River Ganga for hours and pray for their family and loved ones.
Chhath Puja 2018 Day 4 - November 14 - Usha Arghya, Parana
The final day of Chhath Puja is called Usha Arghya, Parana. It is also called Suryodaya Argh. On this day, early morning prayers are offered to the god of life and energy. Devotees then break their fast after 36 long hours. This ritual is called Parana.