The fact may surprise you, but the origin of Chhath Puja predates to Vedas. The rituals that are performed during the chhath Puja are quite similar to the rituals mentioned in Rig Veda. The Sun lies to be the main God during this Puja.
This important Hindu festival is majorly celebrated in Bihar and a few parts of Nepal. According to tradition, the Puja is performed in honor of Lord Sun and his wife, Usha. People worship The Sun and his wife for supporting the earth and bringing life, light, and energy on the earth. Also, it is a way to tell that earth will seek this divine couple’s blessings throughout.
Eventually, Chhath Puja is known as the most eco-friendly festival in India. It is so because all the ingredients required for the rituals are obtained naturally. People gather at the banks of rivers to perform their rituals and Puja. The use of synthetic materials is strictly banned in this eco-friendly festival. The ‘Daura’ and ‘soop’ are the two main materials required in the festival; both of them are obtained naturally from absolutely bio-degradable bamboo.
It is four days festival, and the actual Puja takes place on the third day.
Chhath Puja 2019 date
This year, the festival will commence on 31st October, 2019 to 3rd November 2019.
- Nahay-Khay on 31st October, 2019.
- Lohanda and Kharna on 1st November, 2019.
- Sandhya Argh on 2nd November, 2019.
- Suryodaya/Usha Argh and Paran on 3rd November, 2019.
History of Chhath Puja
As already discussed, Chhath Puja relates to Vedas. The references for this festival can be found in both primary epics of Hindu religion: Ramayana or Mahabharata. Take a look:
- In Mahabharata, there are incidences where Draupadi and the Pandavas perform the rituals of Chhath Puja. They worship Lord Sun on the advice of Dhaumya, the noble sage. They do so with the desire of regaining their reign of Indraprastha.
- Many people believe that Chhath rituals were started by Surya Putra Karan, as he was the son of Surya.
- There is another mythological story related to Chhath Puja as well. The story belongs to Ramayana. The instance tells that Lord Rama, and Devi Sita had kept fast and offer Puja to the Lord Sun in the month of Kartik during their coronation while they returned to the Ayodhya after their exile.
Significance of Chhath Puja
The sunset and sunrise periods hold utmost importance during Chhath Puja. These two periods are considered vital because it is only during these periods that a human can safely transcend into solar energy. The low level of UV rays makes it safe for humans.
The significance of the Chhath Puja relates to providing mental calmness. It detoxifies the human mind and body. Chhath Puja is known to enhance the energy level, and immunity reduces the frequency of anger, remove jealousy and negative emotions as well.
The main deity worshipped during the Chhath Puja is Chhathi Maiya. In Vedas, Chhathi Maiya is known by the name Usha. According to some scholars, Usha Mata was the consort or lover of the Lord Sun, but many take her as the wife of the Lord.
Usha symbolizes dawn, the very first light of the day. So, symbolically this first light invokes the consciousness of the individual. Usha and Pratyusha, the two wives of the Sun, hold much importance during this festival.
This divine realization helps in overcoming all the troubles of life and help in achieving moksha or liberalization. The festival of bathing and worshipping is followed by abstinence and segregation.
The usual worshippers of this festival are women. They are called paraivatin. Only a few men worship during this festival. The worshippers pray for the long life and wellness of the family and their offsprings.
Chhath Puja Songs (Chhath Puja ke geet)
The devotional songs hold utmost importance during Chhath Puja festival. They increase the overall festive spirit of the festival. Most of the Chhat Puja songs are sung in the Bhojpuri language. Different songs are sung by different singers. Here we have mentioned a few of popular Chhath Puja songs.
- Maar bore sugwa dhanush se
- Ho dinanath kaanch hi baans k bahangiya
- Kelwa k pat par uge lan suraj dev
- He chhathi maiya
Chhat Puja vidhi
Traditionally, the Puja of Chhath Puja is performed on the banks of river Ganga. On the first day, the house and surrounding are cleaned. A bit of gangajal is spread in the house.
Second day is the fast and worshippers don’t intake any food or water. They break the fast after worshipping the Sun and the moon. Prashad includes poori, kheer and bananas.
On the third day, the main day, people worship on the banks of the river and pray on the shores. They stay by the shore overnight and follow the vegetarian rule throughout.