Saturday, June 15, 2024

Chaitya Chhath Puja : Tithi, Vidhi, Importance and a Cultural glory

Mahaparva Chhath is celebrated in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh in this month with joy. The four-day tapsaya or puja starts from the Chaturthi tithi of Hindu Panchang.

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Chaitya is the auspicious month for Hindus. Shulk Paksha Pratipada of Chaitya is the first day of the Hindu new year. Navratri is celebrated in Chaitya, Mahaparva Chhath is also celebrated in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh in this month with joy and enthusiasm. The four-day tapsaya or puja starts from the Chaturthi tithi of Hindu Panchang. The worship of lord Bhasker and his sister Chatthi Maiya is done on the sixth day.

Chhath is more than just a festival, it is a significant part of the culture of Bihar. During this time, buses, trains, and flights are packed with devotees travelling to Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. It is a celebration of nature where rivers and ponds are cleaned and worshipped.

The four-day festival this year starts on 12th April 2024 and ends on 15th April 2024.

12 April 2024- Nahay Khay

13 April 2024- Kharna or Lohanda

14 April 2024- Sandhya Arghya.

15 April 2024- Usha Arghya.

The Chhath Puja Geet (song) make the environment very pleasent and devine. Lokgeet by Anuradha Podwal and Sarda Sinha is also a part of Chhath puja now a days.

Nahay Khay

The Mahaparva starts with Nahay-Khay which means having food after having a holy bath or purification. Devotees visit the nearby river to take a holy bath and give “Arghya” to Bhaskar. Many of them wash wheat to make prasad in the river. They bring water from the river to prepare food for Nahay khay. Kaddu Chawal is made on mitti ka chulha. Chana ka dal and arwa chawal are cooked in ghee, And Kaddu (guard) is also cooked as a meal. Devortees eat and is also distributed to near and dear ones as prasad.

Kharna

The second day is Kharna, devotees do nirjala vrat and in the evening Mahaprasad is cooked and offered to the god and then devotees eat and distribute among the people.

The prasad is made of rice, milk, gur. The prasad is cooked on mitti ka chulha in brass utensils and the wood used is mango wood. But with time people are using gas stove and inductions. But people don’t compromise on purity.

Sandhya Arghya

The third day starts with making the prasad for Arghya which is ‘Thekua’. Devotees are busy cooking prasad and preparing the Daura or Tokri and Shoop. All seasonal fruits and kand mull are offered in the prayer. People visit the nearby rivers to offer Arghya to the Sunset. This is the only festival where sunset is worshipped. Ghat are decorated with lights and flowers.

Usha Arghya

In the morning before sunrise, devotees wake up and change the prasad and Shoop and after having a bath stand in the water to offer Arghya to the rising sun. On the ghat the devotees do havan and after thet, they end the fast by taking the prasad.

People worship Lord Bhaskar for wealth, glory, children, opulence and for relief from troubles. This is the only festival where devotees don’t need a Pandit for puja. Chhath Mahaparva is celebrated twice a year. One in Kartik month and the other in Chaitra month. In both, Lord Bhaskar is worshiped with equal devotion.

Over time, natural rivers have been replaced by artificial ponds, and traditional mud stoves have been replaced by gas stoves. However, the enthusiasm and dedication remain unchanged and even stronger, especially with the participation of the younger generation.

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