Fast Facts :
Situated : Bihar, India
Devoted To : The Sun God
Held : In the month of (October-November)
Period of Festivity : Four days
Colorful Festival of Chhath :
India is the land mangled with many cultures and traditions. As a result, you will find many different colorful festivals with different aspects. Hindus have an aura of festivals like Diwali, Holi, Dussera etc. Chhath Festival is celebrated as Diwali in all the parts of Bihar and it is the only festival, which is predominantly Bihari.This festival is thoroughly dedicated to the fervors of Sun God and is called by the name of Suryashashti. The meaning of this Puja itself is to thank Sun God for bestowing amplitudes of life on the earth and for fulfilling individual wishes.
The meaning of the word Chhath is 6 and hence this festival marks its beginning on every sixth day of the Karthik (Hindu month) which is October or mid November. It is the major festival celebrated amongst all the Biharis and is on for 4 days.
There is a well-liked faith that each and every wishes of the follower are always rewarded during Chhath. In addition, a constituent of fright is there amongst the devotees who fear the penalty for any transgression during Chhath. The city relics secure and experience tranquility throughout this time when scandalous people too rather be an element of good.
The colorful Chhath festival is very different and is celebrated with great gaiety and fervor across Bihar for four days with different rituals.
Day 1 :
To rinse away all their sins, the followers take a plunge, rather in the sacred Ganges River and bring water of the river to arrange the offerings.
Day 2 :
The followers observe fast intended for the entire daytime, which is wrecked in belated evening, following Puja with rituals at home. The offerings - normally rice porridge, bananas and puris which are deeply fried wisp of powdered wheat flour) - are distributed amongst family and visiting relatives and friends.
Day 3 :
Entire day is spent at home preparing all the offerings. In the dusk, the devotees budge to a pond or a riverbank. At that place, offerings are given to the sacred setting sun. At end of the day, the worshippers along with all the friends and family come back home where one more colorful festivity takes place. Under an awning of the juicy sticks of sugar cane, small containers packed with offerings and clay elephants that contain earthen oil lamp, are positioned. The Puja is ended with the worshipping of Fire God.
Day 4 :
On the last day of the Chhath Puja, again the worshippers, friends and families, budge to the bank of the river. This time the offerings are given to the dawning Sun. At the end of the offerings, there is huge festivity. The worshippers break their rigid fast and rich offerings of delicious food are passed by to all of them around.
The Celebrations And The Sacred Ritual :
Chhath is an incredibly colorful and joyous festival. All the masses wear their best outfits. During this festival, as the ritual follows all the members of the families sleeps on the house flooring. The clothes that are gifted to the members of the families are not stitched.
Devotional music echoes in the atmosphere in a deafening manner, cleansing the entire atmosphere. Popular Folk songs are stridently sung both on the banks of the river as well as at home. Innumerable number of people swarms on the bank of the sacred Ganga River. You can spot the urbanized version of this festival at the capital city of this state, Patna.
The swaying streets are perfectly cleaned by the bunch of volunteers. They also beautify all the streets that lead to the sacred river with colorful ribbons, banners and festoons.
The offerings include of deeply fried and sugary rolls of stone ground wheat flour, banana whole coconuts, grapefruit and lentils grains. All the items are enclosed in semicircular and small pans, which are whickered out of long bamboo strips.
Stringent menu of no salt vegetarian food is observed. The menu is so much restricted that even the use of garlic and onion are not allowed for four days. All the clay vessels are set aside for this time and all probable transparency of food is firmly accepted as well as followed.
Popular Activity Places :
Well-known for sun temples, Baragaon close to Nalanda and Deo in the City of Aurangabad buzzes with activity during Chhath Festival. You can a glorifying look of the festival at these places in Bihar.
The Sun Temple of Deo has a unique scenario; this temple faces west side unlike other Indian sun temples that faces east side. Undoubtedly, you will find most of the crowds in this temple who come here to offer their prayers. During this festival, people forget all the barriers of creed, color and caste. All the devotees swarms on the river bank to put forward their prayers in front of the Sun God.
Chhath Festival brings out the sacred nature of the person. This festival also in turn gets out the pompous and gaieties nature of the people of Bihar. This is the time when the state of Bihar is in its eternal glory. Do visit Bihar during this time to feel the presence of adoring and scrumptious nature of Chhath Festival.