These special things and stories are prevalent behind celebrating Chhath festival
Celebrated exactly six days after Diwali, Chhath Parva has wide significance in Indian and Nepali culture. This festival of Suryopasna is celebrated from house to house in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and Northeastern states. It is believed that the main source of the sun’s powers is his wives Usha and Pratyusha. In Chhath, there is joint worship of the Sun as well as its two powers. In the morning, the first ray of the sun (Usha) and in the evening, the last ray of the sun (Pratyusha) are worshiped and both are worshiped.
According to religious beliefs, many folk tales are famous for celebrating this festival. Read these folktales associated with this festival:
It is believed that on the day of Kartik Amavasya with Lord Rama, Jaanki and Lakshmana after completing fourteen years of exile.
Diwali is celebrated from the day he returned to Ayodhya. His beloved King Rama and Queen Sita. Ghee lamps were lit all over the state to mark the arrival of their beloved King Rama and Queen Sita. After the coronation of Rama, keeping in mind the concept of Rama’s kingdom, Rama and Sita fasted on Kartik Shukla Shashthi, worshiped the direct deity Lord Surya and completed Saptami. Pleased with this ritual of Rama-Sita on the Saryu coast, Suryadev had blessed him. Since then, Chhath festival became popular in this particular region.
According to the belief, between the sunset of Kartik Shukla Shashthi and the sunrise of Saptami, while worshiping Lord Surya, Vedmata Gayatri suddenly appeared from Vishwamitra’s Math. From then on, the date of Kartik Shukla Shashthi became supremely revered for the Aryans and Chhath festival became the great heritage of the Aryans.
According to a belief, Chhath or Sun worship is performed from the Mahabharata period. It is said that Chhath worship was started by Surya Putra Karna. Karna was the ultimate devotee of Lord Surya. According to the beliefs, they used to stand in the water up to the waist for hours every day and mourn the sun. Only by the grace of the sun did they become great warriors.
Another belief is that the Pandavas were wandering in the jungle after losing their Rajpath in gambling, at that time Draupadi himself fasted Chhath while worshiping Suryanarayana to get rid of the crisis. As a result, the Pandavas got the lost Rajpath, respect, everything.
Chhath festival rules dedicated to the sun:
Wishing the devotees happiness, peace, prosperity, and desired fruit from the worship of the direct deity Srisuryanarayana By bathing on the sixth day and standing in the same water, in the evening time the setting sun is worshiped and again on the seventh day in the morning by standing in the same place and worshiping the rising sun god.
Purity is required first:
The work of cleaning the house is done before Diwali, but for Chhath, along with cleaning, it is also necessary to have purity. This is why washed house-courtyards are washed again. Special care is taken for the cleaning of the roof because the prasad offered in Chhath is washed and dried there for the Thekua. Flour bought from the market is not used to make tekua. Flour mills are also specially cleaned to grind washed wheat. If the offerings are to be made in the kitchen, entry into the kitchen without a bath is prohibited. An earthen stove is arranged in the house of worship itself, in which offerings are made in special pots for worship by burning dry wood.
Use of Pumpkin Rice:
Chhath festival begins with bathing and eating. On the day of bathing and eating, after bathing in the Vrati Ganga, one eats only vegetable-garlic and Arwa rice only once a day without gourd. Vrati i.e. The head lady of the house, who observes Chhath fast, as well as all the members of the house eat pumpkin-rice for that day.
Kharna – Beginning of fasting:
The next day after bathing and eating, Vrati fasts for the whole day and worships in the evening. Kheer-puri or roti is offered as a form of indulgence to God by making strict indulgence and offering it. After worship, the fasting woman breaks the fast with indulgence, which is called Kharna. Relatives take full care that the fasting woman eats in a quiet environment because she has to fast the next whole day without water. After Kharna, all the people of the house accept the offerings.
Waiting for the sunset:
The third day is very crowded because, on the same day in the evening, a crowd of devotees gathers at Gangatat or any other nearby river or pond to pay homage to the setting sun. Chhath songs are sung on this day. All the pujan materials are decorated in soups made of bamboo, tied in a clean washed dhoti, placed on the head reverently, and taken to the ghat barefoot The soups are kept on the ghat by lighting ghee lamps in the direction of the setting sun. The fasting woman bathes in the river and keeps the wet area on her palms while standing in the water. The second person places the soups decorated with offerings one by one on the palms of the fasting woman and the devotees offer water in front of the soup while remembering Surya Dev. As soon as the sun sets, all the groups return home. Arghya soups are kept in the house of worship with the same reverence.
Bow to the rising sun:
Before the sun sets, all the people get ready to go to the ghat after bathing and wearing clean clothes. The ingredients between the soups are changed overnight. Then in the same way soups are taken to the pier and decorated. The whole riverbank is illuminated by the lighted lamps. The children run firecrackers. In the river Vrati, she keeps the soups in her palms in wet clothes and gives Ardhya to the sun god in all the east. The next day, with the offering of Arghya to the rising sun, the worship of Chhath is completed and the pleasant sensations of family-social harmony begin.
Worship method in Chhath Puja:
At the time of Pooja-Archana, the lamps of pure ghee are lit and flowed in water. On the evening of the sixth day, after paying obeisance to Astachalgami Suryadev, the fasting women perform ‘Kosi Bharna’ program in the courtyard of their houses under a special ritual. Under this ‘Thekua’ is the main one along with rice flour, jaggery ‘Kachwaniya’ along with sugarcane, coconut, guava, banana, apple, Suthani or fruit available in the market by making a circle of seven canes inside it. By placing offerings, Suryanarayana worships the Lord all night through folk songs.
Arghya also has scientific significance:
According to the doctor, worship of Surya Dev is associated with Chhath festival. It has mythological as well as scientific significance. It is believed that coming under the influence of its light while giving argha to the setting and rising sun does not cause any skin disease and keeps a person healthy.
The senses remain controlled:
During Chhath Puja, one realizes the amazing purity. In the fast of Chhath, the mind and the senses have to be controlled. It is also important to pay homage to Suryadev by standing in the water because, after Diwali, the heat of Suryadev reaches the earth less. Therefore with fasting, there is an accumulation of energy through the fire of the sun. This keeps the body healthy in winter. Winter also brings many changes in the body. Especially fasting of Chhath festival is beneficial for the digestive system. This increases the healing capacity of the body.
There are also benefits of fasting in Chhath Parva:
In Mahaparva Chhath, Vratis fast for 36 hours. The importance of fasting is also discussed in medical science. Scientists also believe that fasting during Chhath is very beneficial to the body. According to religious and mythological beliefs, many benefits of Chhath have been mentioned. Science also believes that Chhath is not a festival. It is the means of purification of body and soul. Probably this is the reason why it is not a festival of folk faith but a great festival.