Chhath Puja 2023 is a expression of gratitude to the Sun God, observed in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, and Jharkhand. Celebrated twice a year, in Chaitra and Kartika, with the latter considered the more significant occasion.
Chhath Puja: An Ancient Tale of Devotion Unveiled
Embarking on Exile: Draupadi’s Despair in the Wilderness
In the epic of Mahabharata, the Pandavas’ exile unfolds as a tale of loss and adversity, prompting Draupadi to seek solace and guidance from the revered sage Dhaumya.
Sage’s Counsel: The Genesis of Chhath Vrat
Sage Dhaumya’s counsel leads Draupadi to embrace the Chhath Vrat, a sacred fast and worship dedicated to the Sun God, as a means to invoke blessings and alleviate the trials faced by the Pandavas.
Chhath Puja’s Four-Day Rituals
Nahay Khay (Day 1): Purification and Thekua Preparation
Draupadi and devotees embark on the first day, Nahay Khay, cleansing themselves in sacred waters and preparing the special meal, “Thekua,” as an integral part of the Chhath Puja observance.
Lohanda and Kharna (Day 2): A Day-Long Fast and Arghya at Sunset
The second day involves a stringent fast without water, concluding with devotees breaking their fast after offering arghya to the setting sun, accompanied by the preparation of a divine meal.
Sandhya Arghya (Day 3): Riverbank Reverence at Sunset
On the third day, Sandhya Arghya unfolds as devotees, predominantly women, gather at riverbanks, offering arghya to the setting sun, accompanied by hymns and prayers expressing gratitude.
Usha Arghya (Day 4): Anticipating Sunrise and Renewal
The final day, Usha Arghya, marks the zenith of celebrations as devotees converge at riverbanks before sunrise, offering arghya to the rising sun, symbolizing triumph over darkness and the renewal of hope.
Chhath Puja’s Essence: Draupadi’s Faith and Universal Reverence
Transformative Power of Devotion: Draupadi’s Legacy
The narrative of Chhath Puja underscores the transformative power of Draupadi’s unwavering faith, showcasing the enduring spirit of devotion and its impact on the lives of the Pandavas.
Unity Beyond Boundaries: Chhath Puja’s Cultural Permeation
Chhath Puja, characterized by simplicity and discipline, transcends regional boundaries, fostering a sense of unity and reverence for the natural elements that sustain life across diverse communities.
Eternal Connection: Mortal and Divine in Sunrise and Sunset
As the sun rises and sets, Chhath Puja stands as a timeless testament to the enduring connection between the mortal and the divine, encapsulating the festival’s essence in the cyclical rhythms of nature.