Ghats are all clean and roads have been spruced up, it’s the time of the year when people from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh celebrate Chhath Puja. One of the most important festivals of the year, Chhath Puja falls on the sixth day of the month of Kartika. The festival is dedicated to lord Surya and Chhati Maiyya. The festival is celebrated to offer gratitude to lord Surya for sustaining life on Earth.
The highlight of this four-day long festival is that people take a dip in the holy water of Ganga in order to purify themselves.
Nhay Khay: The first day is called as Nhay Khay. On this day, devotees take bath and eat chane ki daal, rice and lauki ki sabzi before they begin their fast.
Kharna: The second day of the festival is called Kharna. On this day, devotees observe a fast for the entire day, which ends in the evening after sunset. After sunset, they are allowed to eat only gur ki kheer and roti. Post this, for the next 36 hours, the parvaitins go on a fast without water.
Sandhya Arghya: The third is for evening prayers. While the day is spent preparing the offerings, in evening parvaitins along with the entire family go to the riverbank. The parvaitin stands in water to offer aragh to the setting sun.
Parna: The fourth is about Suryodaya Argh. On this day, parvaitin offers early morning prayers and stands in water to offer aragn to the rising sun.
Chhath is the festival of purity and is one of the most difficult festivals as people observing fast go without food and water for a long duration. They prepare offerings for all four days using the holy water of Ganga. They make sure that area around the parvaitin has to be clean and fresh. Along with fruits, the offerings include thekua, one of the main prasad of the festival.