Every year, Hindus especially from UP and Bihar and other parts of North India, celebrate Chhath puja on the sixth day after Diwali.
The festival is known as Surya Shashti, Pratihar or Dala Chhath. The festival is celebrated in Nepal, Mauritius, Fiji and many other countries as well.
Chhatha parv, which is a four-day festival, is dedicated to Sun God and His wife Usha who is also known as Chhathi Maiya. This year the auspicious festival will be celebrated on 26th of October.
Since time immemorial, devotees have been celebrating this pious occasion to offer gratitude to Lord Surya and seek blessings for good health and success.
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Legends associated with the festival
The stories behind this festival can be traced in two famous epics that are Mahabharat and Ramayan.
One of the folklore reveals that Draupadi and Pandavas were given advice from a sage to perform Chhath puja and since then the tradition has been following by many.
Another legend showcases how Sita after her return to Ayodhya observed fast and prayed to the Sun God and since then the festival became significant.
There is also a belief that Suryaputra Karna started this puja and the rituals associated with it. Karna was a great warrior and was the ruler of Anga Desh which is now the present day Munger. The place is in the state of Bihar.
There are many arduous rituals are performed during the parv. From holy dips to fasting that too without drinking water to prayers to the rising and setting sun is done with great devotion to commemorate Surya Dev. Austere lifestyle is followed throughout the festival. Devotees pay homage with decorated baskets which are filled Prasad and other puja items.
Do you celebrate Chhatha festival? If yes let us know more about this festive occasion for our other readers.