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Chhath Puja begins in different parts of with religious fervourCelebrations starts with Nahay Khaay rituals

Ravindra Ojha@ EW News

New Delhi : One of the most-awaited festivals of the year is here. The four-day Chhath Puja celebrations began in different parts of the country on Friday with the traditional Nahay Khay ceremony. During Chhath Puja, devotees worship the Sun God, who is considered as the source of life on the earth and is regarded as the deity who fulfills all our wishes. On the first day of the festival on Friday, people started their day early in the morning by taking a holy dip in different rivers, ponds and reservoirs. Devotees take only one meal the entire day, known as Kaddu bhat, cooked only in the bronze or soil utensils and mango woods over the soil stove. On Saturday, Kharna will be performed. Devotees will observe fast for the whole day and break their fast in the evening after sunset and worshiping the Sun. After taking Prasad in the evening, they go on a fast without water for the next 36 hours. The celeberations will culminate on Monday morning after paying oblation to the rising Sun.Devotees perform Chhath Puja on the banks of rivers. Besides the Puja will be performed at Chhath Ghats of several other famous Sun temples. In Bihar, elaborate arrangements have been made at various sun temples incuding in Aurangabad, Nalanda and Patna for celeberations. Railways are running several trains for people coming to their home from different part of the country. Every year, Chhath Puja is celebrated with a whole lot of pomp and grandeur all over the country. Chhath Puja is observed especially in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and in some parts of Nepal. During this festival, the devotees keep fast and offer their prayers to the Sun God. The Puja is offered to the God to thank him for the prosperity, longevity and wealth bestowed on us. Chhath Puja is celebrated for four days. From Nahaye Khaye to Usha Arghya, Chhath Puja is a festival of devotional offering to the Sun God and to being gratified.The Day 2 of Chhath Puja will be celebrated as Kharna or Lohanda where vratis will observe a day-long fast from sunrise to sunset without food and water. On Kharna, prasad of Rasiya Kheer is made with arwa chawal, jaggery or gud and ghee and offered to Chhathi Maiyya and Sun God. The fast is broken after sunset by consuming this special dessert by vrati which is then distributed to other family members in the house. On Kharna, women observing the fast, wake up early in the morning and after taking bath, make preparations for the next two days of the festival which is basically gathering of fruits like sugarcane, daab nimbu, singhara, and other fruits that are kept in soop and offered to Chhathi Maiyya and Sun God. In the evening, after the puja, vratis break their fast with Rasiya kheer and roti, which is their last meal before the 36-hour fasting begins. Also known as Lohanda, the duration of the fasting lasts from 8-12 hours.Chhath Puja falls on the sixth day of Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month of Kartik, roughly six days after the festival of Diwali. Sun God and goddess Chhathi Maiyya are worshipped during the festival. Chhathi Maiyya, the daughter of Lord Brahma and sister of Lord Surya is known to bestow good health, success and long life on children of those fasting.Over Delhi 1000 ghats readied for Chhath puja, says AtishiDelhi Revenue Minister Atishi on Friday inspected the Chhath Ghat at ITO on Friday and assessed the ongoing preparations ahead of the two-day Chhath puja celebrations beginning on November 19. During inspection, the Revenue Minister directed officials to expedite the preparations to avoid last-minute tasks and inconvenience to the devotees during festivities. After the inspection, Atishi said that there will be no shortcomings in the preparations for the Chhath Mahaparv in Delhi.The Kejriwal government has prepared more than 1000 ghats across the entire city to enable people to celebrate the Chhath Mahaparv without having to go far from their homes. “Right from constructing ponds to providing tents, lights, cleanliness, security, and more, the Delhi government is arranging everything on these ghats. Additionally, cultural programmes will be organised by the Maithili-Bhojpuri Academy at many ghats,” said Atishi. “Our effort is to ensure that our Purvanchali brothers and sisters in Delhi can celebrate the auspicious festival of Chhath with joy, peace, and enthusiasm,” she added.

Chhath Puja Kharna Samagri
Bamboo baskets, incense sticks, bamboo soop, suthni, whole grain wheat, jaggery, deepak, ghee, honey, coconut, betel leaves, rice, fruits like banana and pear, vermillion, raw turmeric, sweets
Shubh Muhurat for Chhath Puha Kharna
Sunrise at 6:46 am
Sunset at 5:26 pm
On Kharna, fast can be ended after sunset.
After Kharna, the last two days of Chhath Puja are Sandhya Ghat (November 19) and Usha Ghat (November 20) where arghya to the setting sun and rising sun is offered respectively. Women go without food and water for 36 hours during this time. After the early morning arghya, Chhath Puja is concluded.

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