Chhath Puja 2020: Chhath Puja is a holy Hindu festival dedicated to Surya Dev (Sun God) and Chhathi Maiya in which people pray before the sun rises and the sun settles. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in several cities such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal as well as in a few regions of Nepal. Chhath puja is celebrated after 6 days of Diwali.
On Chhath Puja women do fasting for the well being of their family. It is a four-day-long festival that starts with a ritual of Nahay Khay on Chaturthi two days before the Shashti date. This year Chhath Puja is celebrated on November 20, 2020, but the preparations start from November 18, 2020.
Day 1 of Chhath Puja 2020
Chhath Puja starts with the Nahay Khay. After taking bath in the morning, the women who observe fast clean the grain for the puja rituals and dry it by covering it in the sunlight. Cleanliness is a very essential part while performing the rituals and this is the reason it is taken care of during the washing and drying of grains. After this, women take a bath once again.
From this day, all the family members avoid non-veg food and eat common food. Kaddu Bhaat along with Channa dal is the first food preparation on this day which is cooked in bronze utensils by using mud and mango wood over a mud stove. After prayers, all the observers eat only once a day. After eating the food around the mid-noon, the fasting women start with the waterless-fast which is broken only on the next day in the evening while observing 'Kharna' on the second day of Chhath Puja.
Day 2 of Chhath Puja 2020
The second day of Chhath puja rituals is called Kharna. On Kharna, women observe fast for a time period of almost 8 to 12 hours. On this day women keep the fast for the whole day and break their fast in the evening after seeing and worshiping of Sun. People break the fast during the evening after performing Surya Puja. They offer Kheer, Puris, and fruits in the Puja.
Day 3 of Chhath Puja 2020
The 3rd day of Chhath puja rituals is called Sandhya Arghya. On this day, after preparing the prasad to distribute it among family and friends, women take a dip in the holy water bodies such as ponds and river in the evening and worship Surya Dev and Chhathi Maiya for the happiness and well being of the family.
Day 4 of Chhath Puja 2020
On the last day of the Chhath Puja, women visit the riverbank before the sun rises where they pray and seek blessings from God Sun. It marks the end of the Puja rituals where women break their 36 hours long fast. After the rituals, Prasad is shared among neighbors and relatives.