Chhath Puja 2018 or Chhath Parva is celebrated six days after Diwali in the month of Kartik (October/November). This year, the festival will start with Nahay-Khay on November 11 and end on November 14. Chhath means sixth in the Bhojpuri language. Chhath Puja is the biggest Hindu festival in Bihar. The festival is also celebrated in a grand scale in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
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.
Yellow vermilion or yellow sindoor plays an important role for a woman during Chhath Puja as it associated with the husband’s growth and long life. It is believed that longer the vermillion, the longer will the husband live and progress and the yellow colour also symbolises the sun.
Chhath songs are also of great significance. Apart from this, the process of prostrating while traveling to the ghat is also significant. 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.