Chhath Puja – An Important Festival To Seek Blessings of Sun God
Chhath Puja – One Of The Oldest Festivals
Chhath Puja, is one of the oldest festivals celebrated by the people, especially women in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In some of the neighboring countries like Nepal, this festival is also celebrated. This festival is primarily dedicated to the worship of Sun God and is celebrated on the sixth day in the month of Kartik. During the festival, the devotees observe a strict fast to seek the blessings of Sun God.
The History: The origins of the celebration of this festival are not known. However it is believed that the Chhath Puja was performed since the Vedic times. This belief arises from the fact that the holy scripture of Rigveda describes rituals that are similar to the ones performed during this festival along with various hymns dedicated towards the worship of Sun God.
It is also believed that the festival might have been initiated by the Maga Purohits also known as the Shakya Dwipi Brahmins, who were invited by the ancient kings to display their expertise of Sun Worship. The fact that the festival is generally celebrated in regions where this specific sect of Brahmins is found further strengthens this belief.
According to yet another legend, the festival of Chhath Puja was first celebrated by Draupadi and her husbands, the five Pandavas, when the learned sage Dhaumya advised them to do so. It is believed that upon performing the puja, not only did Draupadi overcome her immediate problems, but it also ensured that the Pandavas regained the kingdom they had lost.
Another legend from Mahabharta states that the festival was initiated by Karna, the staunch devotee and son of Sun God. As the ruler of the Anga Desh, which is at present the Bhagalpur district of Bihar, Karna started the tradition of worshipping the Sun God and thus gave birth to the great festival of Chhath Puja.
Considered to be a joyous and colorful festival, the Chhath Puja is celebrated over a period of 4 days. The houses are thoroughly cleaned and the devotees take bath at the holy rivers to get rid of their sins. It is believed that people, who observe this festival with utmost devotion and dedication, can be assured of having their wishes fulfilled. Worshipping the Sun is an integral part of the celebrations and the devotees offer the Prasad made at home to the Sun God on the banks of a nearby river generally at sunset or sunrise. It is also customary for people to wear new clothes during the celebration of this festival.
Wish You All A Happy Chhath Puja