Chhath is a Hindu Vedic festival which is observed mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. It is also celebrated in some parts of Nepal. It is a four-day festival in which Surya Devta is worshipped. This year, it will be celebrated from 11th November to 14th November. On this day, women observe fast and pray for well-being and prosperity for their families. The puja is also known as Pratihar, Dala Chhath, and Chhathi. It is performed on Kartika Shukla Shashthi which falls on the sixth day of the month of Kartika in the Vikram Samvat. The Sun is the source of all powers. Thus, people express gratitude towards Surya Devta during these days.
Chhath Puja 2018 Muhurat:
According to Drikpanchang, these are the timings:
There are many stories associated with Chhath Puja. It is believed that Draupadi and the Pandavas celebrated the festival. They prayed to God with pure hearts and thus, they got back their lost kingdom.
Legends say that the rays of Sun have healing properties. In one of the holy mantras of Atharvaveda, it is believed that Sun God destroys death and disease. Thus, Hindus pray to the Lord with their face towards east. So that first rays of the rising Sun fall on their chest.
Timings for Shashti Puja:
Shashthi Tithi Begins = 01:50 on 13th November
Shashthi Tithi Ends = 04:22 on 14th November
The first day of the Chhath festival is Nahay Khay. On this day, devotees take a dip in the holy river.
The auspicious fasting begins on the second day. It is known as Kharna. After refraining themselves from food and water for the whole day, people eat kheer in the night. Fast is broken after offering food to the Sun.
The fast of the third day starts with eating the prashad. While the Sun is setting, Arghya is offered to the Lord. On the fourth and last day of the festival, people do Surya namaskar to the Rising Sun once again.