Chhath festival: Preparations to worship the setting sun

The setting sun will be worshiped this evening, one of the most important days of the Chhath festival. Accordingly, most of the ponds, lakes, streams and rivers in Terai Madhes including Janakpurdham have been cleaned up and decorated as a worshipping site.

The banks of the main pond of Janakpurdham sub-metropolitan city, Ganga Sagar, have been decorated and the preparations for the pooja have been completed. Local youth clubs have set up tents and pandals for the Chhath Pooja. In addition to Gangasagar, the Dhanushsagar, Angraj Sar, Dasharath Lake, Janaki Sarovar, Gordhoi, Agnikunda have been decorated by local youth clubs in Janakpurdham.

The army and the police have also supported the cleaning of the ponds and lakes used as a place of worship. Bhojpuri and Maithili songs glorifying Chhathimaiya are found buzzing all around the pooja sites and in the market places.

Chhath is also considered as one of the major festivals for the people of Mithila region. Preparations for Chhath festival start from a week before. This festival starts from the day of Kartik Shukla Chaturthi and ends on the day of Kartik Shukla Saptami Tithi, says Pandit Ramkumar Shastri.

Sun god is especially worshiped in this festival. It is believed that the tradition of sun worship in Hinduism has existed since the Vedic period. This festival is celebrated by all sections of the society together.
Chhath festival officially starts from today, where the fasting women and men take a bath and wear clean clothes and eat vegetarian food. In the evening, rice pudding is made in a new oven made of clay.

According to Pandit Shastri, kheer or rice pudding made with molasses is offered as prasad to the gods and goddesses and rice pudding is accepted as prasad by the fasting person as well as other members of the family.

On the day of Kartik Shukla Shashti Tithi, women offer argha to the setting sun, while men stand in the banks of the ponds and river with coconuts or other fruits in their hands. Traditionally, all the members of the family fasting usually stay awake at the bank of the pond throughout the night.

Meanwhile, consumers have been hit hard after the prices of goods used in Chhath have skyrocketed. Bananas, coconuts, sugarcane, radish, lemons, apples, oranges, molasses, as well as bamboo items are used during the Chhath festival and the price of most of them have increased of late. (RSS)


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