Chhath Puja is a vibrant and significant festival celebrated primarily in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh. Some Terai regions of Nepal also celebrate the occasion with zest. Chhath Puja is a unique and spiritually enriching observance that pays homage to the Sun God.
This ancient Hindu festival is dedicated to worshipping the Sun and involves a series of rituals performed with unwavering devotion. It is also known as Surya Shashti and is not just a religious event but also a cultural phenomenon.
This Chhath Puja 2023, communities will come together to celebrate and express gratitude for the life-sustaining power of the sun.
Where is Chhath Puja 2023 Celebrated?
Chhath Puja 2023 date is November 17 to 20 and is primarily celebrated in the following regions –
Bihar: Chhath Puja is most widely observed in Bihar, where it is an official public holiday. Patna, the state capital, becomes a hub of grand celebrations, and the ghats along the river Ganges are the primary locations for performing the rituals.
Jharkhand: In the state of Jharkhand, the festival is celebrated with equal enthusiasm, especially in cities like Ranchi and Jamshedpur.
Uttar Pradesh: Chhath Puja is also observed in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, including Varanasi, Gorakhpur, and Allahabad.
Nepal: The Terai region of Nepal, bordering India, also celebrates Chhath Puja with devotion. It is especially significant in areas like Janakpur and Biratnagar.
Other Regions: Over time, Chhath Puja has gained popularity in other parts of India and around the world, as people from the Chhath-practising regions migrate to different places. The festival is now celebrated in cities with sizable Bihari and Maithil populations.
When is Chhath Puja in 2023?
The Chhath Puja 2023 date is between November 17, 2023 and November 20, 2023. This date is always decided depending on the Kartik month’s Shukla Paksha.
History of Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is one of the most significant and unique festivals in the Hindu religion, with a rich history. Its origin can be seen in the Vedic period, which dates back over 3,000 years. It is mentioned in the Rigveda that the Sun God, Surya, is worshipped with reverence.
Chhath Puja is believed to have been observed by Draupadi during the time of the Mahabharata. It is said that she sought the Sun God’s blessings for her family’s well-being.
There are several legends associated with the festival. One popular legend is the story of King Priyavrat. He was a forefather of Lord Rama who performed Chhath Puja to break a curse and to gain prosperity.
Another legend revolves around Lord Rama, who is said to have observed Chhath during his time in exile and after returning to Ayodhya.
The Significance of Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja 2023 holds immense significance for Hindus and is celebrated with a lot of love, laughter, and devotion. When the Chhath Puja 2023 date in Bihar arrives, people from across the streets will celebrate it together.
Chhath Puja holds immense spiritual importance as it is dedicated to the Sun God. He is considered the source of life on Earth. The Sun is believed to be the dispeller of darkness, bestowing energy, vitality, and healing properties. By worshipping the Sun, devotees seek blessings for good health, prosperity, and longevity.
This festival is deeply ingrained in the culture of Bihar and the surrounding regions. It represents the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the people in these areas. Chhath Puja serves as a means of preserving and passing on cultural values, music, and rituals from one generation to the next.
Chhath Puja underscores the importance of environmental conservation and the purity of natural resources. Devotees perform various rituals in the open, near water bodies, and utilise organic materials in their offerings. This showcases their commitment to preserving the environment and respecting the ecological balance.
The Rituals of Chhath Puja 2023
Chhath Puja in 2023 will be celebrated over four days (November 17-20). Each day will have its distinct rituals and significance. The rituals include –
Nahay Khay: On the first day, devotees take a dip in a river or any natural water body, clean themselves, and prepare a meal without using garlic, onions, or salt. This meal is then offered to the Sun God.
Lohanda and Kharna: On the second day, known as Lohanda, devotees observe a day-long fast and break it after sunset. They consume a meal known as ‘Kheer’ made of jaggery and raw rice.
Sandhya Arghya (Evening Offering): On the third day, devotees offer arghya (offering) to the setting sun, expressing their gratitude for the day’s energy and blessings.
Usha Arghya (Morning Offering): On the final day, devotees wake up before sunrise and offer arghya to the rising sun, marking the end of their 36-hour fast. This is a spiritually intense and awe-inspiring moment.
Paran: After Usha Arghya, devotees share the prasad (offerings) with family, friends, and neighbours, marking the conclusion of Chhath Puja.
Are you looking forward to Chhath Puja 2023? Immerse yourself in the rituals and feel an air of bliss around you.
Challenges and Modern Adaptations
We all await the grand celebration of Chhath Puja 2023. This occasion, like many traditional festivals, faces modern challenges. Pollution in water bodies, climate change, and urbanisation have impacted the traditional rituals.
But that doesn’t stop the devotees from celebrating the grand occasion. Rather, they are growing awareness about environmental conservation. Citizens realise the need to preserve the purity of natural resources. Efforts are being made to clean and protect the rivers and ponds used for the rituals.
Furthermore, the festival has adapted to urban life. In cities, people often perform Chhath rituals on rooftops or in artificial water bodies like swimming pools. The spirit and essence of the festival remain intact even in these modified settings.
So, put your worries aside and step out to celebrate Chhath Puja in 2023. Take part in festivities and make memories for this year.
Celebrate Chhath Puja 2023Chhath Puja is a profound expression of devotion and gratitude to the Sun God, representing the cultural, spiritual, and environmental heritage of the regions where it is celebrated.
It is a testament to the enduring power of tradition in an ever-changing world. This four-day festival not only brings people together but also installs into a deep respect for the environment.
There is a sense of appreciation for life’s blessings and unity among communities. Chhath Puja 2023 is not just a festival, it is a way of life that honours the Sun God and celebrates the essence of life itself.