Thousands of devotees thronged the banks of river Hindon on Sunday evening to pay obeisance to the sun on the third day of the four-day festival. Residents celebrated Chhath puja in large numbers despite the high pollution and hazy weather conditions.
Married couples who were observing the 36-hour fast stood in knee-deep water and prayed for the well-being and prosperity of their family. They offered prayers to the sun and chanted ‘mantras’.
“We sang folk songs and devotional Chhath songs while going to the ghat. A number of families from our neighbourhood went there together as it brings out a festive feeling and bond among us. While celebrating Chhath, we forget all boundaries between us and no one cares about the caste or class of the other,” Pratibha Tiwari, a resident of Sector 5, Vasundhara, said.
The banks of river Hindon were decorated with colourful ‘vedis’ and diyas which lit up the landscape. The age-old festival of Chhath puja is observed mainly by those residing in Bihar and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from the gathering at the Hindon Chhath ghat, thousands of residents also came to the Chhath puja organised at Shipra Suncity apartments in Vaibhav Khand, Indirapuram.
“More than 2,000 residents gathered at the Chhath puja organised at the swimming pool of our society. We have been conducting this for the last ten years now and almost all residents from the nearby highrises gather here to conduct the prayers,” Ravindra Nath Rai, president of Shipra Suncity apartments, Indirapuram, said.
Residents say that there is a lesson for youngsters in offering prayers to the setting sun.
“It is said that importance is always only given to the rising sun and not the setting sun. Hence, offering prayers to the setting sun signifies that we should take cognizance of those who have provided us with our necessities and bidding them an adieu with respects. This is a metaphor for youngsters, who should always respect their elders and thank them for what they have provided to them throughout their life,” Siddhi Tiwai, a resident of Shipra Suncity apartments, Indirapuram, said.