Chath Puja or Dala Chhath or Surya Shashthi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated amongst Maithils, Indo-Fijians, Rajbanshis, Bhojpuri people, Nepali Paharis and much more. It is done to pay gratitude to the Lord Sun for showering the bounties of life on earth, fulfilling wishes and granting prosperity, progress and well-being. It is considered an eco-friendly festival. The word ‘Chath’ means ‘sixth’, thus it is celebrated on the sixth day of the month Kartik. Chhathi Maiya is the Goddess who is worshiped during Chath Puja. It is first performed by Surya Putra Karna. But after being celebrated by Lord Rama its significance has increased and is popular nationwide. In the coming year, it will be celebrated on 26th October.
· Improves the immunity of body by detoxifying it.
· It enhances the fighting power of blood by improving the working of white blood cells.
· Solar energy gives the power to control the secretion of hormones.
· It leads to mental calmness, slowing off the negative emotions and aging process.
· It also ensures utmost cleanliness in all the offerings and the environment.
· It leads to regularization of Pranic flow followed by awakening of psychic powers such as healing, intuition and telepathy.
RITUALS- Chath Puja follows a 4-day festival.
· Naha Kha/Arwa Arwain- On the first day, people take an early bath in the holy water of Ganga or Koshi and bring some water to their home in order to purify it. They uphold the vatra and take only one meal a day, called ‘Kaddu-Bhat’.
· Lohanda and Kharna (Argasan)- On the second day, people on vrat break their fast in the evening after worshipping sun and the moon. They offer kheer, puris, thekua, fruits to the Sun during the puja. After having the meal, they again go on a fast, without water for next 36 hours.
· Sandhya Arghya or Pahela Aragh- On this day, devotees on vrat offer Prasad to the setting sun beside a river bank with all their family members. The folk songs are sung on the evening of Chath and a diya is lit up by covering it with five sugarcane sticks symbolizing ‘Panchatattva’.
· Usha Arghya or Dusra Aragh- Devotees along with their family members visit Ganga Ghat before sunrise and offer Bihaniya Aragh and break their fast.
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